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CYPRUS

AS I SAW IT IN 1879

by SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER, M.A., F.R.S., F.R.S.A.,
                     F.R.G.S., &c.

Author of "Ismailia," "The Albert N'Yanza," "The Nile Tributaries of
Abyssinia," "Eight Years in Ceylon," "The Rifle and Hound in Ceylon."

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER I. ARRIVAL AT LARNACA CHAPTER II. THE GIPSY-VANS ENCOUNTER DIFFICULTIES CHAPTER III. ROUTE TO NICOSIA CHAPTER IV. THE MESSARIA CHAPTER V. START FOR THE CARPAS CHAPTER VI. CAPE ST. ANDREA CHAPTER VII. KYRENIA AND THE NORTH COAST CHAPTER VIII. ROUTE TO BAFFO CHAPTER IX. FROM BAFFO TO LIMASOL CHAPTER X. THE WINE DISTRICT OF LIMASOL CHAPTER XI. FROM LIMASOL TO THE MOUNTAINS CHAPTER XII. THE MONASTERY OF TROODITISSA CHAPTER XIII. WOODS AND FORESTS CHAPTER XIV. REMARKS ON IRRIGATION CHAPTER XV. LIFE AT THE MONASTERY OF TROODITISSA CHAPTER XVI. SOMETHING ABOUT TAXATION CHAPTER XVII. THE DISTRICT OF LIMASOL AND LANDOWNERS CHAPTER XVIII. ON POLICE, WAGES, FOOD, CLIMATE, ETC. CHAPTER XIX. POLITICAL REFLECTIONS CHAPTER XX. CONCLUSION
APPENDIX

INTRODUCTION.

I do not intend to write a history of Cyprus, as authorities already exist that are well known, but were generally neglected until the British occupation rescued them from secluded bookshelves. Even had I presumed to write as a historian, the task would have been impossible, as I am at this moment excluded from the world in the precincts of the monastery of Trooditissa among the heights of ancient Olympus or modern Troodos, where books of reference are unknown, and the necessary data would be wanting. I shall recount my personal experience of this island as an independent traveller, unprejudiced by political considerations, and unfettered by the responsible position of an official. Having examined Cyprus in every district, and passed not only a few days, but winter, spring, and summer in testing the climatic and geographical peculiarities of the country, I shall describe "Cyprus as I saw it in 1879," expressing the opinions which I formed upon the spot with the results of my experience.

Although I have read many works upon this island, I have no books with me except that interesting record of the discovery of antiquities by General di Cesnola, and the invaluable compilation for the Intelligence Branch, Quartermaster-General's Department, Horse Guards, by Captain Savile, 18th Royal Irish Regiment. It is impossible to praise the latter work too highly, as every authority, whether ancient or modern, has been studied, and the information thus carefully collected has been classed under special headings and offered to the reader in a concise and graphic form which renders it perfect as a book of reference. I must express my deep appreciation of the assistance that I have derived from Captain Savile's work, as it has directed my attention to many subjects that might have escaped my observation, and it has furnished me with dates, consular reports, and other statistical information that would otherwise have been difficult to obtain. The study of M. Gaudrey's able report to the French government upon the agricultural resources and the geological features of Cyprus, before I commenced my journey, guided me materially in the interesting observations of the various formations and terrestrial phenomena. The experiences of the late British Consul, Mr. Hamilton Lang, described in his attractive volume, together with those of Von Loher, Doctors Unger and Kotschy, have afforded me an advantage in following upon footsteps through a well-examined field of discovery.

Before I enter upon a description of my personal examination of the island, it will be advisable to trace a brief outline of the geographical position of Cyprus, which caused its early importance in the history of the human race, and which has been accepted by the British government as sufficiently unchanged to warrant a military occupation in 1878, as a strategical point that dominates the eastern portion of the Mediterranean, and supplies the missing link in the chain of fortified ports from England to the shores of Egypt.

In the world's infancy oceans were unknown seas upon which the vessels of the ancients rarely ventured beyond the sight of land; without the compass the interminable blue water was a terrible wilderness full of awe and wonder. The Phoenicians, who first circumnavigated Africa by passing through the then existing canal between Suez and the Nile, coasted the whole voyage, as did in later years the famous Portuguese, Vasco di Gama, and stations were formed along the shores at convenient intervals. Hanno the Carthaginian coasted to an uncertain and contested point upon the western shores of Africa, but no ocean commercial port was known to have existed in the early days of maritime adventure. The Mediterranean offered peculiar advantages of physical geography; its great length and comparatively narrow width embraced a vast area, at the same time that it afforded special facilities for commerce in the numerous ports and islands that would form a refuge in stress of weather.

The countries which surrounded this great inland sea were rich; the climate throughout its course combined the temperate with almost tropical, according to the changes of seasons; accordingly, the productions of the earth varying upon the northern and southern coasts, were all that could be required for the necessities of the human race. In this happily situated position commerce was first cradled, and by the interchange of ideas and natural productions, artificial wants were mutually created among the various countries around the great sea margin; the supply of these new requirements and exchange of commodities established trade. With the development of commerce, wealth and prosperity increased; nations became important through the possession of superior harbours and geographical positions, and the entire maritime strength and commercial activity of the ancient world was represented by the Mediterranean. The Phoenicians of Tyre and Sidon were the English of to-day; the Egyptians and the Greeks were followed as the world grew older by the Venetians and Genoese, and throughout the world's history no point possessed a more constant and unchangeable attraction from its geographical position and natural advantages than the island of Cyprus, which in turn was occupied by Phoenicians, Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Byzantine rulers, Saracens, Byzantine rulers again, English, Lusignans, Venetians, Turks, and once more English in 1878.

The advantages which had thus possessed a magnetic influence in attracting towards this island the leading nations of the world were in ancient days undeniable. When vessels directed their course only by well-known landmarks, or by the position of certain stars, it was highly necessary for a maritime power to occupy a continuous chain of stations, where, in case of danger from a superior force, a place of refuge would be near. Cyprus from its peculiar geographical position commanded the eastern portion of the Mediterranean. The harbour of Famagousta was only a few hours' sail, with a favourable wind, to the coast of Asia Minor. The bays of Larnaca and Limasol were roadsteads with a safe anchorage, and Paphos (Baffo) was a convenient harbour upon the south-western portion of the island, capable of protecting a considerable number of the small vessels of the period. Thus Cyprus possessed two harbours upon the south coast in addition to good roadsteads; while upon the north, Cerinea (Kyrenia) and Soli, although never large, were serviceable ports of refuge, exactly facing the coast of Caramania, plainly visible. The lofty mountains of the Carpas range which overhang these harbours command the sea view at an elevation of between three and four thousand feet, from which the approach of an enemy could be quickly signalled, while the unmistakable peaks of the rugged sky-line formed landmarks by which vessels could steer direct to the desired ports. The same advantage of descrying an enemy at a distance from the shore exists in many parts of Cyprus, owing to the position of the heights; and the rocky nature of the coast (with the exception of a few points such as Limasol, Morphu Bay, &c.), rendered the landing of a large force extremely difficult. As a strategical point, there was no more formidable position than Cyprus; it formed a common centre within immediate reach of Alexandria and all the coasts of Syria and Asia Minor. It was not only a military place d'armes, such as Malta and Gibraltar now are, dependent upon maritime superiority for the necessary provisions, but it was a country of large area, comprising about 3500 square miles, with a soil of unbounded fertility in a high state of cultivation, a population sufficiently numerous for all requirements of the island, and forests of timber that was in great request for the architect and ship-builder. In addition to these natural sources of wealth, the mineral productions were celebrated from the earliest history, and the copper of Cyprus was used by the Phoenicians in the manufacture of their celebrated bronze.

The Chittim wood of Scripture, imported to Syria from Cyprus (the ancient Chittim), was probably a species of cypress at that time composing the forests which ornamented a considerable portion of the surface. There are two varieties of cypress in the island: that which would have been celebrated grows upon the high mountains, and attains a girth of from seven to nine feet, the wood being highly aromatic, emitting a perfume resembling a mixture of sandal-wood and cedar; the other cypress is a dwarf variety that seldom exceeds twenty feet in height, with a maximum circumference of two feet; this is a totally different wood, and is intensely hard, while the former is easily worked, but durable. The derivation of the name Cyprus has been sought for from many sources; and the opinions of the authorities differ. English people may reflect that they alone spell and pronounce the word as "Cyprus." The name of the cypress-tree, which at one time clothed the mountains of this formerly verdant island, is pronounced by the inhabitants "Kypresses," which approximates closely to the various appellations of Cyprus in different languages. The Greek name is Kypros, and it is probable that as in ancient days the "chittim-wood" was so called from the fact of its export from Chittim, the same link may remain unbroken between Kypros and the tree Kypresses.

The geographical advantages which I have enumerated are sufficient to explain the series of struggles for possession to which the island has been exposed throughout its history; the tombs that have been examined, have revealed the secrets of the dead, and in the relics of Phoenicians, Persians, Assyrians, Egyptians, and the long list of foreign victors, we discover proofs of the important past, until we at length tread upon pre-historical vestiges, and become lost in a labyrinth of legends. From the researches of undoubted authorities, we know that Cyprus possessed a written character peculiarly original, and that it was occupied by a people highly civilised according to the standard of the early world at so primitive an era, that all records have disappeared, and we are left in the darkness of conjecture.

The changes in the importance of certain geographical positions, owing to the decline and fall of empires, which at one time governed the destinies of the Eastern world, have been strikingly exhibited on the shores of the Mediterranean; Tyre, Sidon, Carthage, Cyprus, had lost their significance upon modern charts, even before the New Worlds appeared, when America, Australia, and the Eastern Archipelago were introduced upon the globe. The progress of Western Europe eclipsed the Oriental Powers which hitherto represented the civilisation of mankind, and two points alone remained, which, shorn of their ancient glory, still maintained their original importance as geographical centres, that will renew those struggles for their possession which fill the bloody pages of their history—Egypt and Constantinople.

No country had been more completely excluded from the beaten paths of British travellers than the island of Cyprus, and England was startled by the sudden revelation of a mystery connected with the Treaty of Berlin, that it was to become a strategical point for a British military occupation!

On the 4th June, 1878, a "Convention of Defensive Alliance between Great Britain and Turkey" was signed, which agreed upon the following articles:-

ARTICLE I.

"If Batoum, Ardahan, Kars, or any of them, shall be retained by Russia, or if any attempt shall be made at any future time by Russia to take possession of any further territories of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan in Asia, as fixed by the definitive treaty of peace, England engages to join His Imperial Majesty the Sultan in defending them by force of Arms.

"In return, His Imperial Majesty the Sultan promises to England to introduce necessary reforms, to be agreed upon later between the two Powers, into the government, and for the protection of the Christian and other subjects of the Porte in those territories; and in order to enable England to make necessary provision for executing her engagement, His Imperial Majesty the Sultan further consents to assign the island of Cyprus to be occupied and administered by England.

ARTICLE II.

"The present Convention shall be ratified, and the ratifications thereof shall be exchanged, within the space of one month, or sooner if possible.

"In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the same, and have affixed thereto the seal of their arms.

"Done at Constantinople, the fourth day of June, in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-eight.

"A.H. LAYARD.
"SAFVET."

It was eventually agreed between the contracting Powers:-

"That England will pay to the Porte whatever is the present excess of revenue over expenditure in the island; this excess to be calculated and determined by the average of the last five years."

and:—

"That if Russia restores to Turkey Kars and the other conquests made by her in Armenia during the last war, the island of Cyprus will be evacuated by England, and the Convention of the fourth June, 1878, will be at an end."

I knew nothing of Cyprus, but I felt sure that the Turks had the best of the bargain, as they would receive the usual surplus revenue from our hands, and be saved the trouble and onus of the collection; they would also be certain of a fixed annual sum, without any of those risks of droughts, famine, and locusts, to which the island is exposed, and which seriously affect the income.

Although there would only be a wildly remote chance of Russia ever relinquishing her Asiatic prey, the bare mention of the words "will be evacuated by England" was a possible contingency and risk, that would effectually exclude all British capital from investment in the island. I could not discover any possible good that could accrue to England by the terms of the Convention. If Cyprus had been presented as a "bonus" by the Porte to counterbalance the risk we should incur in a defensive alliance for the protection of Asia Minor, I could have seen an addition to our Colonial Empire of a valuable island, that would not only have been of strategical value, but such that in a few years, money and British settlers would have entirely changed its present aspect, and have created for it a new era of prosperity.

If England had purchased Cyprus, I could have understood the plain, straightforward, business-like transaction, which would have at once established confidence, both among the inhabitants, who would have become British subjects; and through the outer world, that would have acknowledged the commencement of a great future.

But, if we were actually bound in defensive alliance with Turkey in case of a war with Russia, why should we occupy Cyprus upon such one-sided and anomalous conditions, that would frustrate all hopes of commercial development, for the sake of obtaining a strategical position that would have been opened to our occupation AS AN ALLY at any moment? On the other hand, if we distrusted Turkey, and feared that she might coquet with Russia at some future period, I could see a paramount necessity for the occupation of Cyprus, and even Egypt; but we were supposed to be, and I believe were, acting in absolute and mutual good faith as the protector of Asiatic Turkey, in defensive alliance with the Sultan. In that position, should we have entered into a war with Russia, there was no necessity for the occupation and responsibility of any new position, as every port of the Ottoman dominions, even to the Golden Horn of Constantinople, would have welcomed our troops and boats with enthusiasm.

Turkey is a suspicious Power, and the British government may have had to contend with difficulties that are unknown to the criticising public; it may have been impossible to have obtained her sanction for the occupation under other conditions. The possibility of future complications that might terminate in a close alliance between the conquered and the victor, may have suggested the necessity for securing this most important strategical position without delay, upon first conditions that might subsequently receive modifications. At first sight the political situation appeared vague, but I determined to examine the physical geography of Cyprus, and to form my own opinion of its capabilities.

CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879.

CHAPTER 1.
ARRIVAL AT LARNACA.

On the morning of the 4th January we sighted Cyprus at about fifty miles distance, after a smooth voyage of twenty-six hours from Alexandria. The day was favourable for an arrival, as the atmospherical condition afforded both intense lights and shadows. The sky was a cobalt blue, but upon all points of the compass local rain-clouds hovered in dark patches near the surface, and emptied themselves in heavy showers. The air was extremely clear, and as we steamed at ten knots each hour brought out in prominent relief the mountain peaks of Cyprus; Olympus was capped with clouds. Passing through a rain-cloud which for a time obscured the view, we at length emerged into bright sunshine; the mists had cleared from the mountain range, and Troodos, 6,400 feet above the sea-level, towered above all competitors.

We were now about ten miles from the shore, and the general appearance of the island suggested a recent snowfall. As the sun shone upon a bare white surface, the sterile slopes and mountain sides were utterly devoid of vegetation, and presented a sad aspect of desolation, which reminded me of the barren range on the shores of the Red Sea.

First impressions are seldom correct, but the view of Cyprus on arrival from the south was depressing, and extinguished all hopes that had been formed concerning our newly-acquired possession. This was the treasure acquired by astute diplomacy!

For about twenty miles we skirted this miserable coast, upon which not a green speck relieved the eye; at length we sighted the minaret which marked the position of Larnaca, the port or roadstead to which the mail was bound; and in the town we distinguished three or four green trees. We cast anchor about half a mile from the shore. Nine or ten vessels, including several steamers, were in the roadstead, and a number of lighters were employed in landing cargoes.

Disappointment and disgust were quickly banished by the reflection that at this season (January) there was nothing green in England: the thermometer in that dreary land would be below freezing-point, while on the deck where we stood it was 64 degrees Fahr. We were quickly in a boat steering for the landing-place.

All towns look tolerably well from the sea, especially if situated actually upon the margin of the water. The town represented a front of about a mile, less than five feet above the level of the sea, bordered by a masonry quay perpendicular to the surface, from which several wooden jetties of inferior and very recent construction served as landing-places.

The left flank of Larnaca was bounded by a small Turkish fort, absolutely useless against modern artillery upon the walls the British flag was floating. We landed upon the quay. This formed a street, the sea upon one side, faced by a row of houses. As with all Turkish possessions, decay had stamped the town: the masonry of the quay was in many places broken down, the waves had undermined certain houses, and in the holes thus washed out by the action of water were accumulations of recent filth. Nevertheless, enormous improvements had taken place since the English occupation. An engineer was already employed in repairing the quay, and large blocks of carefully faced stone (a sedimentary limestone rock of very recent formation) were being laid upon a bed of concrete to form a permanent sea-wall. The houses which lined the quay were for the most part stores, warehouses, and liquor-shops. Among these the Custom House, the Club, Post Office, and Chief Commissioner's were prominent as superior buildings. There was a peculiar character in the interior economy of nearly all houses in Larnaca; it appeared that heavy timber must have been scarce before the town was built, as the upper floor was invariably supported by stone arches of considerable magnitude, which sprang from the ground-floor level. These arches were uniform throughout the town, and the base of the arch was the actual ground, without any pillar or columnar support; so that in the absence of a powerful beam of timber, the top of the one-span arch formed a support for the joists of the floor above. In large houses numerous arches gave an imposing appearance to the architecture of the ground floors, which were generally used as warehouses. Even the wooden joists were imported poles of fir, thus proving the scarcity of natural forests. The roofs of the houses were for the most part flat, and covered with tempered clay and chopped straw for the thickness of about ten inches. Some buildings of greater pretensions were gaudy in bright red tiles, but all were alike in the general waste of rain-water, which was simply allowed to pour into the narrow streets through innumerable wooden shoots projecting about six feet beyond the eaves. These gutters would be a serious obstacle to wheeled conveyances, such as lofty waggons, which would be unable in many cases to pass beneath. The streets are paved, but being devoid of subterranean drains, a heavy shower would convert them into pools. Foot passengers are protected from such accidents by a stone footway about sixteen inches high upon either side of the narrow street. Before the English occupation these hollow lanes were merely heaps of filth, which caused great unhealthiness; they were now tolerably clean; but in most cases the pavement was full of holes that would have tested the springs and wheels of modern vehicles.

I had heard, prior to leaving England, that hotels, inns, &c., were unknown in Larnaca; I was, therefore, agreeably surprised on landing, to find a new hotel (Craddock's) which was scrupulously clean, the rooms neatly whitewashed, and everything simple and in accordance with the requirements of the country.

The miserable reports in England respecting the want of accommodation, and the unhealthiness of Cyprus, had determined me to render myself independent; I had therefore arranged a gipsy travelling-van while in London, which would, as a hut upon wheels, enable us to select a desirable resting-place in any portion of the island, where the route should be practicable for wheeled conveyances. This van was furnished with a permanent bed; shelves or wardrobe beneath; a chest of drawers; table to fall against the wall when not in use, lockers for glass and crockery, stove and chimney, and in fact it resembled a ship's cabin, nine feet six inches long, by five feet eight inches wide.

I had another excellent light four-wheeled van constructed by Messrs. Glover Brothers, of Dean Street, Soho: both these vehicles had broad and thick iron tires to the wheels, which projected 5/8 inch upon either side beyond the felloes, in order to afford a wide surface to deep soil or sandy ground without necessitating a too massive wheel.

The vans with all my effects had left London by steamer direct for Cyprus, I therefore found them, upon my arrival from Egypt, in the charge of Mr. Z. Z. Williamson, a most active agent and perfect polyglot; the latter gift being an extreme advantage in this country of Babel-like confusion of tongues.

I was now prepared to investigate Cyprus thoroughly, and to form my own opinion of its present and future value.

The day after my arrival I strolled outside the town and exercised my three spaniels which had come out direct from England. The dogs searched for game which they did not find, while I examined the general features of the country. About three-quarters of a mile from the present town or port are the remains of old Larnaca. This is a mere village, but possesses a large Greek church. The tomb of Lazarus, who is believed to have settled in Cyprus to avoid persecution after his miraculous resurrection from the grave, is to be seen in the church of St. George within the principal town.

From this point an excellent view is obtained of the adjacent country. A plain of most fertile soil extends along the sea-coast towards the east for six miles, and in breadth about four miles. The present town of Larnaca stands on the sea-board of this plain, which to the west of the port continues for about four miles, thus giving an area of some ten miles in length, forming almost a half circle of four miles in its semi-diameter; the whole is circumscribed by hills of low but increasing altitudes, all utterly barren. Through the plain are two unmistakable evidences of river-action which at some remote period had washed down from the higher ground the fertile deposit which has formed the alluvium of the valley. Within this apparently level plain is a vestige of a once higher level, the borders of which have been denuded by the continual action of running water during the rushes from the mountains in the rainy season. This water action has long ceased to exist. There can be little doubt that in the ancient days of forest-covered mountains, the rainfall of Cyprus was far greater than at present, and that important torrents swept down from the hill-sides. We see evidences of this in the rounded blocks, all water-worn, of syenite and gneiss, which are intermingled with the bits of broken pottery in the vale, alike relics of the past and proving the changes both in nature and in man since Cyprus was in the zenith of prosperity.

A level plateau about eighteen feet above the lowest level of the plain shows the original surface. The soil of the entire valley is calcareous, and is eminently adapted for the cultivation of the vine and cereals. As the rain has percolated through the ground, it has become so thoroughly impregnated with sulphate of lime that it has deposited a series of strata some six or seven feet below the surface, which form a flaky subterranean pavement. The ancients selected this shallow soil of a higher level for a burial-ground, and they burrowed beneath the stratum of stony deposit to form their tombs. One of the chief occupations of modern Cypriotes appears to be the despoiling of the dead; thus the entire sides of the plateau-face for a distance of about two miles are burrowed into thousands of holes to a depth of ten and twelve feet in search of hidden treasures. If the same amount of labour had been expended in the tillage of the surface, the result would have been far more profitable. A small proportion of the land upon the outskirts of the town was cultivated, some had been recently ploughed, while in other plots the wheat had appeared above the surface. Water is generally found at eight or nine feet below the level, but this is of an inferior description, and the town and environs are well supplied by an aqueduct which conveys the water from powerful springs about seven miles to the west of Larnaca, near Arpera. This useful work was constructed according to the will of a former pacha, who bequeathed the sum required, for a public benefit.

Large flocks of sheep were grazing in various portions of the uncultivated plain. At first sight they appeared to be only searching for food among the stones and dust, but upon close examination I found a peculiar fleshy herb something like the stone-crop which grows upon the old walls and rocks of England. This plant was exceedingly salt, and the sheep devoured it with avidity, and were in fair condition. The wool was long, but of a coarse wiry texture, and much impaired by the adherence of thistles and other prickly plants. The musical sound of distant bells denoted the arrival of a long string of camels, laden with immense bales of unpressed cotton on their way to the port of Larnaca. Each animal carried two bales, and I observed that the saddles and pads were in excellent order, the camels well fed, and strongly contrasting with the cruel carelessness of the camel owners of Egypt, whose beasts are galled into terrible sores from the want of padding in their packs. The cotton had been cleaned upon the plantation, but it would be subjected to hydraulic pressure and packed in the usual iron-bound bales for shipment, upon arrival in the stores of Larnaca.

It was impossible to resist a feeling of depression upon strolling around the environs of the town and regarding the barren aspect of the distant country. Every inch of this fertile plain should be cultivated, and numerous villages should be dotted upon the extensive surface. "Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth" was a curse that appeared to have adhered to Cyprus.

It was unnecessary to seek for the chief cause of unhealthiness; this was at once apparent in the low swamps on the immediate outskirts of the town. In ancient days the shallow harbour of Cittium existed on the east side of modern Larnaca; whether from a silting of the port, or from the gradual alteration in the level of the Mediterranean, the old harbour no longer exists, but is converted into a miserable swamp, bordered by a raised beach of shingles upon the seaboard. The earth has been swept down by the rains, and the sand driven in by the sea, while man stood idly by, allowing Nature to destroy a former industry. All the original harbours of the country have suffered from the same neglect.

There was little to be seen in the neighbourhood. The site was pointed out where the troops were encamped in the tremendous heat of July in the close vicinity of the swampy ground, upon pestiferous soil, and the usual tales of commissariat blunders were recounted. Close to the borders of this unhealthy spot, but about twenty feet above the level of the lowest morass, stands the convent belonging to the Sisters of Charity, which includes a school, in addition to a hospital. Great kindness was shown by these excellent ladies to many English sufferers, and their establishment deserves a liberal support from public contributions.

I walked through the bazaar of Larnaca; this is situated at the west end of the town near the fort, close to which there is a public fountain supplied by the aqueduct to which I have already alluded. Brass taps were arranged around the covered stone reservoir, but I remarked a distressing waste of water, as a continual flow escaped from an uncontrolled shoot which poured in a large volume uselessly into the street. Within a few yards of the reservoir was a solitary old banian tree (ficus religiosa), around which a crowd of donkeys waited, laden with panniers containing large earthen jars, which in their turn were to be filled with the pure water of the Arpera springs.

Although the crowd was large, and all were busied in filling their jars and loading their respective animals, there was no jostling or quarrelling for precedence, but every individual was a pattern of patience and good humour. Mohammedans and Cypriotes thronged together in the same employment, and the orderly behaviour in the absence of police supervision formed a strong contrast to the crowds in England.

The Mosque being within a few feet of them, the Mussulmans could perform their ablutions at the threshold. Around the font, women were intermingled with a crowd of men and boys. The girls and lads were regular in features and good-looking, though dirt and torn clothing of various gaudy colours gave a picturesque, but hardly an attractive, appearance to the group. The bazaar was entered at right angles with the quay; the streets were paved with stones of irregular size, sloping from both sides towards the centre, which formed the gutter. Camels, mules, bullock-carts, and the omnipresent donkeys thronged the narrow streets, either laden with produce for the quay, or returning after having delivered their heavy loads. The donkeys were very large and were mostly dark brown, with considerable length of hair. In like manner with the camels, they were carefully protected by thick and well stuffed packs, or saddles, and were accordingly free from sores. They appeared to be exceedingly docile and intelligent, and did not require the incessant belabouring to which the ass of other countries is the victim. Large droves of these animals, each laden with three heavy squared stones for building, picked their way through the narrow streets, and seemed to know exactly the space required for their panniers, as they never collided with either carts or passengers.

The shops of the bazaar were all open, and contained the supplies usually seen in Turkish markets—vegetables, meat, and a predominance of native sweets and confectionery, in addition to stores of groceries, and of copper and brass utensils. An absence of fish proved the general indolence of the people; there is abundance in the sea, but there are few fishermen.

An hour's stroll was quite sufficient for one to form an opinion of Larnaca. A good roadstead and safe anchorage offer great advantages, but until some protection shall be afforded that will enable boats to land in all weathers Larnaca can never be accepted as a port. There is shoal water for a distance of about two hundred yards from the shore, which causes a violent surf even in a moderate breeze, and frequently prevents all communication with the shipping. The quay was in many places undermined by the action of the waves, and it would be necessary to create an entirely new front by sinking a foundation for a sea-wall some yards in advance of the present face. There would be no engineering difficulty in the formation of a boat-harbour, to combine by extensive pile-jetties the facility of landing in all weathers. A very cursory view of Larnaca exhibited a true picture of its miserable financial position. The numerous stores kept by Europeans were the result of a spasmodic impulse. There was no wholesome trade; those who represented the commercial element were for the most part unfortunates who had rushed to Cyprus at the first intelligence of the British occupation, strong in expectations of a golden harvest. The sudden withdrawal of the large military force left Larnaca in the condition of streets full of sellers, but denuded of buyers. The stores were supplied with the usual amount of liquors, and tins of preserved provisions; none of the imported articles were adapted for native requirements; an utter stagnation of trade was the consequence, and prices fell below the cost of home production. The preceding year had been exceptionally sickly; many of the storekeepers were suffering from the effects of fever, which, combined with the depression of spirits caused by ruined prospects, produced a condition of total collapse, from which there was only one relief—that of writing to the newspapers and abusing the Government and the island generally.

There must always be martyrs—somebody must be sacrificed—whether burnt at the stake for religious principles, or put in a bell-tent in the sun with the thermometer at 110 degrees Fahr. simply because they are British soldiers—it does not much matter—but the moment your merchants are slain upon the altar, the boiling-point is reached.

The store-keepers sat despondingly behind their counters while the hinges of their doors rusted from the absence of in-comers. It was impossible to rouse them from their state of mercantile coma, except by one word, which had a magnetic effect upon their nervous system—-"Custom House."

"I suppose you have no difficulty at the Custom House, Mr.—in this simple island?" This was invariably the red rag to the bull.

"No difficulty, Sir!—no difficulty?—it is THE difficulty—we are absolutely paralysed by the Custom House. Every box is broken open and the contents strewed upon the ground. The duty is ad valorem upon all articles, and an ignorant Turk is the valuer. This man does not know the difference between a bootjack and a lemon-squeezer: only the other day he valued wire dish-covers as `articles of head-dress,' (probably he had seen wire fencing-masks). If he is perplexed, he is obliged to refer the questionable article to the Chief Office,—this is two hundred yards from the landing place:—thus he passes half the day in running backwards and forwards with trifles of contested value to his superior, while crowds are kept waiting, and the store is piled with goods most urgently required." . . .

I immediately went to see this eccentric representative of Anglo-Turkish political-and-mercantile-combination, and found very little exaggeration in the description, except that the distance was 187 paces instead of 200 which he had to perform, whenever the character of the article was beyond the sphere of his experience. As this happened about every quarter of an hour, he could not complain of a sedentary employment. A few days after this, migratory birds arrived in Cyprus upon the inhospitable shore opposite the Custom House in the shape of two Liberal M.P's. from England,—who visited the island specially to form an honest opinion free from all political bias. Whether these gentlemen were undervalued by the eccentric official to whom I have alluded, or whether he suspected Liberals as opponents to be regarded and treated as spies, we never could determine; but utterly disregarding their innocent exterior, he subjected them to the extreme torture of the Custom House, and dived and plunged into the very bowels and bottoms of their numerous small packages, rumpling clean linen, and producing a toilettic chaos. To the honour of these members of the Opposition they never brought the question before the House upon their return to England, neither did they make it the foundation of an attack upon the Government.

An excess of zeal is not uncommon among ignorant officials newly raised to a position of authority: thus Larnaca was outdone by the Custom House representative at Limasol in vigilance and strict attention to the administrative tortures of his office. I have heard of cases of crockery being unpacked upon the beach and spread out to be counted and valued upon the loose stones of shingle!

The unfortunate European traders of Larnaca were shortly relieved of their Custom House troubles by the total absence of imports. The native Cypriote does not purchase at European shops; his wants are few; the smallest piece of soap will last an indefinite period; he is frugal to an extreme degree; and if he has desires, he curbs such temptations and hoards his coin. Thus, as the natives did not purchase, and all Europeans were sellers without buyers, there was no alternative but to shut the shutters. This was a species of commercial suicide which made Larnaca a place of departed spirits; in which unhappy state it remains to the present hour. Even the club was closed.

CHAPTER II.

THE GIPSY-VANS ENCOUNTER DIFFICULTIES.

My gipsy-van was not of doubtful character. I had purchased it direct from the gipsies in England, and it had been specially arranged for the Cyprus journey by Messrs. Glover Bros. of Dean Street, Soho, London. It had been painted and varnished with many coats both inside and out, and nobody, unless an experienced gipsy, would have known that it was not newly born from the maker's yard. Originally it had been constructed for shafts, as one horse was considered sufficient upon the roads of England, but when it arrived in Cyprus it appeared to have grown during the voyage about two sizes larger than when it was last seen. As the small animals of Larnaca passed by, where my lovely van blocked up the entire street, and forced the little creatures upon the footpath, they looked in comparison as though they had just been disembarked upon Mount Ararat from the original Noah's ark, represented by the gipsy-van! The Cypriotes are polite, therefore I heard no rude remarks. The Cypriote boys are like all other boys, therefore they climbed to the top of the van, and endeavoured by escalade to enter the windows. On one occasion I captured HALF A BOY (the posterior half) who was hanging with legs dangling out of the window, his "forlorn-hope" or advance half vainly endeavouring to obtain a resting-place upon vacuity within (as the fall slab-table was down). I had no stick; but the toes of his boots had imprinted first impressions upon the faultless varnish. What became of that young Cypriote was never known.

Even in Cyprus there are municipal laws, and now that the English are there they are enforced; therefore my huge van could not remain like a wad in a gun-barrel, and entirely block the street. A London policeman would have desired it to "move on" but—this was the real grievance that I had against Larnaca—the van COULD NOT "MOVE ON," owing to its extreme height, which interfered with the wooden water-spouts from the low roofs of the flat-topped houses. This was a case of "real distress." My van represented civilisation: the water-spouts represented barbarism. If a London omnibus crowded with outside passengers had attempted to drive through Larnaca, both driver and passengers would have been swept into I have not the slightest notion where; and my van was two feet higher than an omnibus!

I determined that I would avoid all inferior thoroughfares, and that the van should pass down Wolseley Street, drawn by a number of men who would be superior in intelligence to the Cypriote mules and be careful in turning the corners.

I did not see the start, as a person with an "excess of zeal" had started it with a crowd of madmen without orders, and I was only a late spectator some hours after its arrival opposite Craddock's Hotel. It rather resembled a ship that had been in bad weather and in collision with a few steamers. How many water-spouts it had carried away I never heard. The fore-axle was broken, as it appeared that in rounding a corner it had been dragged by main force upon the curbstone about sixteen inches high, from which it had bumped violently down. It had then been backed against a water-spout, which had gone completely through what sailors would term the "stern." One shutter was split in two pieces, and one window smashed. Altogether, what with bruises, scratches, broken axle, and other damages, my van looked ten years older since the morning.

Fortunately among the Europeans who had flocked to Cyprus since the British occupation was a French blacksmith, whose forge was only a few yards from Craddock's Hotel, where my wrecked vessel blocked the way. I had a new fore axle-tree made, and strengthened the hinder axle. I also fitted a bullock-pole, instead of shafts, for a pair of oxen; the springs I bound up with iron wire shrunk on while red-hot. I took out the stove, as it was not necessary, and its absence increased the space; and I inserted a ventilator in the roof in place of the chimney. When repaired, the van looked as good as new, and was much stronger, and well adapted for rough travel. The only thing it now wanted was a ROAD!

The highways of Cyprus were mere mule-tracks. The only legitimate road in existence was of most recent construction, which represented the new birth of British enterprise, from Larnaca to the capital, Nicosia (or Lefkosia), about twenty-eight miles. The regrettable paucity of stone-hammers rendered it impossible to prepare the metal, therefore huge rounded blocks, bigger than a man's head, had been thrown down for a foundation, upon which some roughly broken and a quantity of unbroken smaller stones had been spread.

Of course there was only one method of travelling upon this route with the gipsy-van: this was to avoid it altogether, but to keep upon the natural soil on the side of the newly-made level.

My second van was most satisfactory, and was light in proportion to its strength and capacity. This was arranged specially for luggage, and was entirely closed by doors at either end, which were secured by bolts and locks. Above the luggage, and about two feet six inches below the roof, a sliding deck formed of movable planks afforded a comfortable sleeping-berth for a servant. In the front a projecting roof sheltered the driving seat, which was wide enough to accommodate four persons. I had fitted a pole instead of shafts, as public opinion decided against mules, and it was agreed that oxen were steadier and more powerful for draught purposes. After a careful selection, I obtained two pairs of very beautiful animals, quite equal in size to ordinary English oxen, for which I paid twelve shillings per diem, including the drivers and all expenses of fodder. I also engaged the necessary riding mules, as the vans were not intended for personal travelling, but merely for luggage and for a home at night. Our servants consisted of Amarn (my Abyssinian, who had been with me eight years, since he was a a boy of nine years old in Africa), a Greek cook named Christo, who had served in a similar capacity upon numerous steamers, and a young man named Georgi, of about twenty-one, who was to be made into a servant. This young fellow had appeared one day suddenly, and solicited employment, while we were staying at Craddock's Hotel; he was short, thickset, and possessed a head of hair that would have raised the envy of Absalom: in dense tangle it would have defied a mane-comb. Georgi had a pleasant expression of countenance which did not harmonise with his exterior, as his clothes were in a ragged and filthy condition, his shoes were in tatters, and trodden down at the heel to a degree that resembled boats in the act of capsizing; these exposed the remnants of socks, through the gaps of which the skin of his feet was exhibited in anything but flesh-colour. It is dangerous to pick up a "waif and stray," as such objects of philanthropy frequently disappear at the same time as the forks and spoons. In reply to my questions, I discovered that Georgi was in fact the "prodigal son;" he had not been leading the fast life of that historical character, but he had left his home in Mersine (on the coast of Asia Minor) owing to an unfortunate disagreement with his father. In such domestic estrangements, rightly or wrongly, the fathers generally have the best of the situation, and Georgi, having left a comfortable home (his father being what is called "well to do"), had taken ship, and, like many others, had steered for Cyprus, where he arrived unknown, and quickly experienced the desolation of an utter stranger in a foreign town. Georgi became hungry; whether he had sold his good clothes to provide for the coats of his stomach I cannot say, but the rags in which he first appeared to me were utterly unsaleable, and few people would have ventured upon an engagement with so disreputable a person. However, I liked his face; he could speak Turkish and Arabic fluently: Greek was his mother-tongue, and he had a smattering of French. I sent for the tailor, and had him measured for a suit of clothes to match those of Amarn—a tunic, waistcoat, knickerbockers, and gaiters of navy-blue serge. In a few days Georgi was transformed into a respectable-looking servant, with his hair cut.

We left Larnaca on the 29th of January. A native two-wheeled cart conveyed the tents and superabundant baggage. The oxen made no difficulty, and the gipsy-van rolled easily along. An enterprising photographer, having posted himself in a certain position near the highway, suddenly stopped our party, and subsequently produced a facsimile, although my dogs, who were in movement, came out with phantom-like shadows. These useful companions were three spaniels —"Merry," "Wise," and "Shot;" the latter had a broken foreleg through an accident in the previous year, but he was an excellent retriever, and could work slowly. The others were younger dogs, whose characters were well represented by their names; the first was an untiring, determined animal, and Wise was a steady hunter that would face the worst thorns, and was a good retriever.

This party was now in movement, and I intended to make a preliminary detour from the Nicosia route to visit the springs of Arpera, about eight miles distant, which supply the town of Larnaca.

In every country where I have travelled I have observed a human weakness among the population on the question of "game;" there is a universal tendency to exaggeration; but the locality of superabundance is always distant from the narrator. As you proceed the game recedes; and you are informed that "at about two days' march you will find even more than you require." Upon arrival at the wished-for spot you are told that "formerly there was a large quantity, but that times and seasons have changed; that about three marches in your front will bring you to a hunter's paradise," &c. As Cyprus was an island of only 140 miles in length, there would be a limit to these boundless descriptions; but I had already heard enough to assure me that the usual want of veracity upon this subject was present in the accounts I had received. The newspaper correspondents had just contributed ridiculous reports to their several employers. Because the market of Larnaca was well supplied with woodcocks, red-legged partridges, and hares, at low prices, these overworked gentlemen of the pen rushed to a conclusion that the island teemed with game: forgetful of the fact that every Cypriote has a gun, and that numbers were shooting for the consumption of the few. Larnaca was the common centre towards which all gravitated. As the rate of wages was only one shilling a day, it may be imagined that sport afforded an equally remunerative employment, and game was forwarded from all distances to be hawked about the public thoroughfares. The fact is, that game is very scarce throughout Cyprus, and the books that have been written upon this country are certainly not the productions of sportsmen.

I had read in no mean authority that "the surface of the ground was covered with heather"—positively there is no such plant in Cyprus as heath or heather. As we passed the outskirts of Larnaca, we were introduced to the misery of the plain of Messaria; the so-called heather is a low thorny bush about twelve inches high, which at a distance has some resemblance to the plant in question. Brown is the prevailing colour in this portion of the island, and the aspect was not cheerful as we slowly marched along the native track or highway towards Arpera, carefully avoiding the new government macadamised road.

It is a melancholy neighbourhood. A few graves that had been robbed were open, forming pitfalls for the unwary; other yawning holes had discovered ancient tombs by the soakage of a recent heavy shower, which had washed in the roof and exposed the cavity. We passed a small mosque where there is the tomb of a saint many feet below the level of the surface, and we shortly came in view of the salt lake about a mile and three-quarters from the town of Larnaca. We halted about two miles from the town upon the high ground to admire the aqueduct which crosses the valley from the village of Cheflik Pacha. This is a very important work. The masonry is about thirty-six feet above the lowest portion of the valley, which it spans in thirty-two arches, covering a distance of about four hundred and twenty yards from height to height. The water flows in an open canal of cement along the surface, but upon the ground level it is protected by a covering of stone and lime, until it reaches the town of Larnaca. A stream of fresh water flows through the valley beneath the arches of the aqueduct, at a right angle, and is artificially separated from the salt lake below by means of a dyke of earth which conducts it direct to the sea. This was rendered necessary by the floods of the rainy seasons, which carried so large a volume of fresh water into the lake as to resist the power of evaporation during the summer months. The salt lakes of Larnaca are several miles in extent, and are computed by the late British consul, Mr. Watkins, to possess a productive power of 20,000,000 okes (2 3/4 lbs.) per annum. M. Gaudry, in his clever work upon Cyprus, attributes the formation of salt to the fact of the sea-water percolating through the sand, and thus filling the lake;—this theory is disputed, and I incline to the native belief, "that the salt lies within the soil, and is taken into solution by the water, which deposits the same amount upon the dry surface when exhausted by evaporation." In support of this opinion, I adduce a proof in the fact of the small freshwater stream which flows from the higher ground through the arches of the aqueduct, depositing salt as its surface contracts during the dry season.

A strong efflorescence of true chloride of sodium is left upon the sides of its bed and upon the bottom as the water becomes exhausted; this must be the salt which the fresh water has robbed from the soil of the valley through which it flows. In many portions of Cyprus I have observed, a few days after a heavy shower, a considerable amount of salt upon the surface. I know many instances of fresh-water lakes being divided from the sea by only a few yards of sandy beach, and I do not accept as fact that salt water percolates through the sand and forms the salt of Larnaca lake. The salt lakes of Ceylon, in the south district of Hambantotte, are immensely productive, and they have no communication with the sea, but are in a similar position to those of Cyprus at Larnaca and Limasol—near the sea, but depending for their water-supply upon natural springs and rain. There can be no doubt that the springs are salt, and the rain-water dissolves the salt that is naturally contained within the soil. M. Gaudry observed a portion of the plain near Trichomo covered with an efflorescence of soda, which by analysis yielded about two-thirds of sulphate of soda, with a large proportion of sulphate of magnesia and other salts. Many wells in Cyprus are salt, or brackish. The lowest ground of the marshy plain near Famagousta contains salt to a degree sufficient to destroy the young cereals, should rain not be abundant; and during the drought of this year (1879), they were the first to perish, although in a damp locality.

Salt is a government monopoly in Cyprus, and is one of the most important sources of revenue. In the reign of the Lusignan dynasty, and from a much earlier date, the produce of the salt lakes formed one of the chief articles of export, and arrangements were made for regulating the amount of water to ensure the requisite evaporation. At the present time considerable uncertainty attends the collection of salt, as a violent rainfall floods the lakes and weakens the solution. There can be no doubt that a few years' experience and attention will enable the authorities to improve upon the present arrangement, and that not only will the annual supply be assured, but the foreign demand will be extended.

We passed the valley beyond the aqueduct and, ascending the steep incline upon the opposite side, followed the rutty native track parallel with the water-course; we halted for the first night opposite the village of Cheflik Pacha. This is an unhealthy place, as it lies in a valley where a mill is turned by a stream from the aqueduct and the surplus water forms a marsh after irrigating in a careless manner some fields and gardens. Lemon and orange-trees of the largest size were crowded with fruit, and exhibited in the midst of a treeless and desolate country the great necessity, WATER, and the productive powers of the soil when regularly supplied.

I was careful not to descend into the irrigated bottom, therefore we had halted on the highest point, a quarter of a mile distant. It is impossible to be too careful in the selection of a camping-ground; the effect of fever-germs may be the result of one night's bivouac in an unhealthy locality; and a new country is frequently stamped as pestilential from the utter carelessness of the traveller or officer in command of troops.

As a general rule the immediate neighbourhood of water should be avoided. A clear stream is a tempting object, and the difficulty of carrying water for the supply of troops is important; but it is less than the necessity of carrying the sick. If once the fever of malaria attacks an individual he becomes unfitted for his work; the blood is poisoned, and he is the victim of renewed attacks which baffle medical skill and lead to other serious complications. Avoid the first attack. This may generally be effected by the careful selection of the camping-ground. Never halt in a bottom, but always on a height. Throughout my journey in Cyprus neither ourselves nor servants suffered from any ailment, although we visited every portion of the country, and I attribute this immunity from fever mainly to the care in our selection of halting-places.

The first necessity in the evening halt was fire. This is one of the troubles of central Cyprus—there is no fuel. The two vans and the native cart were in a line—the bell-tent was quickly pitched for the servants, who now for the first time experienced the comfort of an arrangement I had made when in England. I had seven deal battens, each seven feet long, four inches deep, by two and a half inches broad. These were laid upon the ground twelve inches apart; seven planks, each one foot wide, were placed across the battens to form an impromptu floor. Upon this platform was laid a non-conductor of simply doubled hair-felt, sewed into a thin mattress of light canvas. There was very little trouble in this arrangement; the men were kept well off the ground, and the hair-felt not only preserved their bodily heat from escaping, but it prevented the damp of the earth from ascending. This mattress was ten feet long, therefore it could be rolled up to form a bolster at one end; and, during a hot sun, it was intended for a cover to the roof of the gipsy van.

The first day's start is always in the afternoon, and the march is short. We had only made three miles, and it was nearly dark when we halted. The absence of fuel necessitates the great trouble of carrying a supply of charcoal, and it destroys the pleasure of the cheerful night-fires that usually enliven the bivouac in wild countries. The plants and herbs that grow in Cyprus are all prickly; thus groping in the dark for the first inflammable material to produce the fire-foundation is unpleasant. There is a highly aromatic but very prickly species of wild thyme: this is always sought for, and at all times responds to the match.

The first night is always novel, in spite of old experiences. We pricked our hands in raking up thorny plants, but a useful implement, which combined the broad hoe on one side with a light pick on the other, lessened our labour, and we produced a blaze; this was bright but transient, as the fuel was unsubstantial. The dinner was quickly warmed, as it consisted of tins of preserved meats; and, climbing up the ladder, the gipsy van presented such a picture of luxury that if the world were girded by a good road instead of a useless equator I should like to be perpetually circum-vanning it.

On the following morning the thermometer marked 40 degrees. The natives were early at work, ploughing land that was to remain fallow until the following season. The oxen were sleek and in good condition, and not inferior in weight to the well-known red animals of North Devon. Although the native plough is of the unchanged and primitive pattern that is illustrated on the walls of Egyptian temples, it is well adapted for the work required in the rough and stony ground of Cyprus. I was surprised to see the depth which these exceedingly light implements attained, with apparent ease to the pair of oxen; this was not less than eight inches, and the furrows were regular, but not turned completely over. The ploughshare is not adapted for cutting the roots of weeds by means of a flat surface and a sharp edge, but the rounded top of the native iron passes beneath the soil and breaks it up like the wave produced by the ram-bow of a vessel. The plough, when complete, does not exceed forty pounds in weight, and it is conveniently carried, together with the labourer, upon the same donkey, when travelling from a distance to the morning's work. European settlers in Cyprus should be cautious before superseding the native plough by the massive European pattern; there are certain soils where the powerful iron plough, or even the double implement, might be worked with advantage, but as a general rule I should advise an agriculturist to wait patiently at the commencement of his operations, and to gain practical experience of the country before he expends capital in the purchase of European inventions. There can be no doubt that by degrees important improvements may be introduced that will benefit the Cypriote farmer, although it will be long before his primitive method will be abandoned. The great difficulty in Cyprus consists in reducing the soil to a fine surface; huge lumps of tenacious earth are turned up by the plough, which, under the baking influence of the sun, become as hard as sun-dried bricks. The native method of crushing is exceedingly rude and ineffective. A heavy plank about sixteen feet long and three inches thick, furnished with two rings, is dragged by oxen over the surface; which generally remains in so rough a state that walking over the field is most laborious. There are many stone columns lying useless among the heaps of ruins so common in Cyprus, that would form excellent rollers, but the idea of such an implement has never entered the Cypriote head. The plough, smoothing-plank, and the ancient threshing-harrow, composed of two broad planks inlaid with sharp flint stones, are the only farm machinery of the cultivator. As in the days of Abraham the oxen drew this same pattern of harrow over the corn, and reduced the straw to a coarse chaff mingled with the grain, so also the treatment in Cyprus remains to the present day. The result is a mixture of dirt and sand which is only partially rejected by the equally primitive method of winnowing.

Mr. Hamilton Lang gives an amusing description of the strictly conservative principles of the Cyprian oxen, which have always been fed upon the straw broken by the process described in threshing by the harrow of sharp flints. This coarse chaff, mixed with cotton-seed, lentils, or barley, is eaten by all animals with avidity, and the bullocks positively refused Mr. Lang's new food, which was the same straw passed through an English threshing-machine and cut fine by a modern chaff-cutter. This fact is a warning to those who would introduce too sudden reforms among men and animals in a newly-acquired country; but if Mr. Hamilton Lang had sprinkled salt over his chaff I think the refractory appetites of the oxen might have been overcome. A pair of oxen are supposed to plough one "donum" daily of fifty paces square, or about half an acre.

Having watched the various teams, and conversed with the ploughmen by the medium of the cook Christo, who spoke English and was an intelligent interpreter, I ordered the vans to move on while I walked over the country with the dogs. There was no game except a wild-duck which I shot in the thick weeds of a neighbouring swamp. Larks were in great quantities, and for want of larger birds I shot enough for a pilaff, and secured a breakfast. The route, which could be hardly called a road, had been worn by the wheels of native carts. These were narrower than our vans, and one of our wheels was generally upon a higher level, threatening on some occasions to overturn. The country around us was desolate in its aridity. We passed through the ruins of an ancient city over which the plough had triumphed, and literally not one stone was left upon another. A few stone columns of a rough description, some of which were broken, were lying in various directions, and I noticed a lower millstone formed of an exceedingly hard conglomerate rock; these pieces were too heavy to move without great exertions, therefore they had remained in situ.

After a short march of three miles we arrived at the steep banks of the river a mile above the village of Arpera. The bed of this river was about forty feet below the level of the country, and here our first real difficulty commenced in descending a rugged and precipitous track, which at first sight appeared destructive to any springs. The gipsy-van was conducted by the owner of the fine pair of bullocks; but this fellow (Theodoris) was an obstinate and utterly reckless character, and instead of obeying orders to go steadily with the drag on the wheels, he put his animals into a gallop down the steep descent, with the intention of gaining sufficient momentum to cross the sandy bottom and to ascend the other side. If the original gipsy proprietor could have seen his van leaping and tossing like a ship in a heavy sea, with the frantic driver shouting and yelling at his bullocks while he accelerated their gallop by a sharp application of the needle-pointed driving prick, he would have considered it the last moment of his movable home. I did the same; but, to my astonishment, the vehicle, after bounding madly about, simply turned the insane driver head over heels into the river's bed, and the bullocks found themselves anchored in the sand on the opposite side. Glover Brothers' blue van was driven by a fine fellow, Georgi, who was of a steady disposition; and this very handy and well constructed carriage made nothing of the difficulty. Georgi was a handsome and exceedingly powerful man, upwards of six feet high, of a most amiable disposition, who always tried to do his best; but the truth must be told, he was stupid: he became a slave to the superior intellect of the bare-brained rascal of the gipsy-van. Why amiable people should so frequently be stupid I cannot conceive: perhaps a few are sharp; but Georgi, poor fellow, had all in bone and muscle, and not in brain.

There is great advantage in travelling with more than one vehicle, as in any difficulty the numerous animals can be harnessed together and their combined power will drag a single cart or carriage through any obstacle. Thus one by one the vans were tugged up the steep bank on the opposite side, and after a drag across ploughed fields for nearly a mile we halted on the edge of a cliff and camped exactly above the river. Although the bed was dry below this point, we found a faint stream of clear water above our position, which was subsequently absorbed by the sand. The cliffs were not perpendicular, but were broken into steep declivities from successive landslips: the sides were covered with the usual prickly plants, but the edges of the stream were thickly bushed with oleanders which afforded excellent covert for game.

In travelling through Cyprus there is a depressing aspect in the general decay and ruin of former works. I strolled with my dogs for some miles along the river banks, and examined the strong masonry remains of many old water-mills. I found a well-constructed aqueduct of wonderfully hard cement at the bottom of a cliff close to the present bed of the river: this must at a former period have passed below the bed, and the deepening of the stream has exposed and washed away the ancient work. There was no game beyond a few wild red-legged partridges, although the appearance of the country had raised my expectations.

On the following morning I rambled with the dogs for many hours over the range of hills which bounds the plain upon the north, and from which the river issues. These are completely denuded of soil, and present a glaring surface of hardened chalk, in the crevices of which the usual prickly plants can alone exist. Some of the hill-tops exposed a smooth natural pavement where the rain had washed away all soluble portions and left the bare foundation cracked in small divisions as though artificially inlaid. Now and then a wretched specimen of the Pinus Maritima, about six feet high, was to be seen vainly endeavouring to find nourishment in the clefts of the barren rocks. I do not believe the tales of forests having formerly existed upon the greater portion of Cyprus: it would certainly be impossible for any species of tree to thrive upon the extensive range of hills near Arpera, which are absolutely valueless.

In many places the surface glistened with ice-like sheets of gypsum, which cropped out of the cold white marls and produced a wintry appearance that increased the desolation. I walked for some hours over successive ranges of the same hopeless character. Great numbers of hawks and several varieties of eagles were hunting above the hill-tops, and sufficiently explained the scarcity of game. The red-legged partridges found little protection in the scant cover afforded by the withered plants, and I saw one captured and carried off by an eagle, who was immediately chased by two others of the same species, in the vain hope that he would give up his prize; he soared high in air with the partridge hanging from his claws. On the same day I saw another capture, and there can be little doubt that the partridge forms the usual food of these large birds of prey. The British government has already protected the game by establishing a close season and by a tax upon all guns; but there will be little benefit from the new law unless a reward shall be offered for the destruction of the birds of prey which swarm in every portion of the island—eagles, falcons, kites, hawks, ravens, crows, and last, but in cunning and destructive propensity not the least, the "magpies." These birds exist in such numbers that unless steps are taken to destroy them it will be hopeless to expect any increase of game. When a magpie wakes in the early morning his first thought is mischief, and during the breeding season there is no bird who makes egg-hunting so especially his occupation. Upon the treeless plains of Cyprus every nest is at his mercy.

From the base of the barren hill-range a fertile plain slopes towards the sea for a width of about four miles, having received the soil that has been washed from the denuded heights. This rich surface is cultivated with cereals, but there are considerable portions which are covered with a dense mass of thistles, as the land is allowed to rest for a couple of years after having been exhausted by several crops without manuring. On the lowlands of Cyprus nearly every plant or bush is armed with thorns. I have generally observed that a thorny vegetation is a proof of a burning climate with a slight rainfall. In the scorching districts of the Soudan there is hardly a tree without thorns to the tenth degree of north latitude, at which limit the rainfall is great and the vegetation changes its character. The Cypriotes of both sexes wear high boots to the knees as a protection from the countless thistles, and not as an armour against snakes, as some writers have assumed. These boots are peculiar in their construction; the soles are about an inch in thickness, formed of several layers of leather, which are fastened together by large-headed nails from beneath; these are directed in an oblique line, so as to pass through the edge of the upper leather and secure it to the sole exactly as the shoe of a horse is fitted to the hoof. The nails are long and thin, and are riveted by turning the points round and hammering them like a coil upon the leather; the heads of these nails are nearly as large as a shilling, and the boots are exceedingly clumsy; but they increase the height of the wearer by a full inch.

My amiable driver of the blue van, Georgi, accompanied me in my walk, and fired several useless shots at wild partridges. We now arrived at the spot where the water is led by a subterranean aqueduct to Larnaca. This principle is so original, and has from such remote times been adopted in this arid island, that it merits a detailed description. The ancient vestiges of similar works in every portion of Cyprus prove that in all ages the rainfall must have been uncertain, and that no important change has taken place in the meteorological condition of the country.

In a search for water-springs the Cypriote is most intelligent, and the talent appears to be hereditary. If a well is successful at an elevation that will enable the water to command lower levels at a distance, it may be easily understood that the supply of one well representing a unit must be limited. The Cypriote well-sinker works upon a principle of simple multiplication. If one well produces a certain flow, ten wells will multiply the volume, if connected by a subterranean tunnel, and provided the supply of water in the spring is unlimited.

It appears that Cyprus exhibits an anomaly in the peculiarity of a small rainfall but great subterranean water-power; some stratum that is impervious retains the water at depths varying according to local conditions. The well-sinker commences by boring, or rather digging, a circular hole two feet six inches in diameter. The soil of Cyprus is so tenacious that the walls of the shaft require no artificial support; this much facilitates the work, and the labourer, armed with a very short-handled pick, patiently hacks his vertical way, and sends up the earth by means of a basket and rope, drawn by a primitive but effective windlass above, formed of a cradle of horizontal wooden bars. The man in charge simply turns the windlass without a handle, by clutching each successive bar, which, acting as a revolving lever, winds up the rope with the weight attached.

The rapidity of the well-sinking naturally depends upon the quality of the soil; if rock is to be cut through, it is worked with a mason's axe and the cold chisel. Fortunately the geological formation is principally sedimentary limestone, which offers no great resistance. At length the water is reached. The well is now left open for a few days that an opinion may be formed of the power; if favourable, another precisely similar well is sunk at a distance of fifteen or sixteen yards in the direction towards the point required by the future aqueduct. The spring being satisfactory, the work proceeds with vigour. We will accept the first well as forty feet in depth; if the surface of the earth were an exact level, the next well would be an equal depth; but as the water retains its natural level, the vertical measurement of each shaft will depend upon the formation of the upper ground. The object of the well-sinker is to create a chain of wells united by a subterranean tunnel, in order to multiply the power of a unit and to obtain the entire supply of water; he therefore sinks perhaps ten or twenty wells to the same level, and he cuts a narrow tunnel from one to the other, thus connecting his shafts at the water-line, so as to form a canal or aqueduct. Precisely as the mole upheaves at certain intervals the earth that it has scraped from its gallery, the well-sinker clears his tunnel by sending up the contents through the vertical shafts fifteen yards apart, around the mouth of which a funnel-shaped mound is formed by the debris.

These preliminary walls being completed and the water-volume tested, the neighbourhood is examined with the hope of discovering other springs that may upon the same principle be conducted towards the main line of the proposed aqueduct. It is not uncommon to find several chains of wells converging from different localities to the desired water-head, and as these are at higher levels, a considerable hydraulic power is obtained, sufficient in many instances not only to fill the tunnels, but to force the water to a greater elevation if required.

The water-head being thoroughly established, the sinking of a chain of wells proceeds, and the tunnels are arranged at a given inclination to conduct the water to the destined spot. This may be many miles distant, necessitating many hundred wells, which may comprise great superficial changes; hills that are bored through necessitate deep shafts, and valleys must be spanned by aqueducts of masonry. In this manner the water is conducted from the springs of Arpera near the spot where the river issues from the narrow valley among the hills, and supplies Larnaca, about eight miles distant from the first head. The British authorities propose to substitute iron pipes for the present aqueduct; but it is to be hoped that the new scheme will be an independent and additional work, that will in no way interfere with the important gift of Cheflik Pacha, which has existed for nearly two centuries, and which, if kept in repair, will supply the necessary volume.

CHAPTER III.

ROUTE TO NICOSIA.

Having proved that any further progress west was quite impracticable by vans, I returned to the new main road from Larnaca, and carefully avoiding it, we kept upon the natural surface by the side drain, and travelled towards Dali, the ancient Idalium.

The thermometer at 8 A.M. showed 37 degrees, and the wind was keen. The road lay through a most desolate country of chalk hills completely barren, diversified occasionally by the ice-like crystals of gypsum cropping out in huge masses. In one of the most dreary spots that can be imagined the eye was relieved by a little flat-topped hut on the right hand, which exhibited a sign, "The Dewdrop Inn." The name was hardly appropriate, as the earth appeared as though neither dew nor rain had blessed the surface; but I believe that whisky was represented by the "Dewdrop," and that the word was intended to imply an invitation, "Do-drop-in." Of course we dropped in, being about an hour in advance of our vans, and I found the landlord most obliging, and a bottle of Bass's pale ale most refreshing in this horrible-looking desert of chalk and thistles that had become a quasi-British colony. This unfortunate man and one or two partners were among those deluded victims who had sacrificed themselves to the impulse of our first occupation, upon the principle that "the early bird gets the worm." Instead of getting on, the partners went off, and left the representative of the "Dewdrop" in a physical state of weakness from attacks of fever, and the good industrious man with little hope of a golden future.

Passing on after a conversation with our landlord, which did not cheer me so much as the pale ale, we continued through the same desolate country for about two miles, and then turned off on the left hand towards Dali. We passed through a narrow valley of several hundred acres planted in vineyards, and we counted four olive-trees, the first green objects or signs of trees that we had seen since Larnaca! We then continued through white barren hills for another two miles, and descended a steep hill, halting for the night upon hard flat gypsum rock opposite a village named "Lauranchina," above the dry bed of a torrent, twelve miles from Larnaca.

On the following morning, after a slight shower, we started for Dali. The narrow valleys were more or less cultivated with vines, and about three miles from the halting-place we entered the fertile plain of Dali. This is about six miles long, by one in width, highly cultivated, with the river flowing through the midst. As far as we could see in a direct line groves of olives, vineyards, and ploughed land, diversified by villages, exhibited the power of water in converting sterility into wealth.

I always make a rule that the halting-place shall be at a considerable distance from a village or town for sanitary reasons, as the environs are generally unclean. All travellers are well aware that their servants and general entourage delight in towns or villages, as they discover friends, or make acquaintances, and relieve the tedium of the journey; therefore an antagonistic influence invariably exists upon the question of a camping-ground. It is accordingly most difficult to believe the statements of your interpreter: he may have old friends in a town to which you believe him to be a stranger; he may have the remains of an old love, and a wish to meet again; or he may have a still more powerful attraction in the remembrance of an agreeable cafe where he can refresh himself with liquor, revel in cigarettes, and play at dominoes. It is therefore necessary to be upon your guard when approaching a town, which should be looked upon as the enemy's camp.

My amiable bullock-driver, the big Georgi, had always assured me that "game abounded in the immediate neighbourhood of Dali;" of course I knew that the happy hunting-ground contained some special interest for himself. Upon arrival on the outskirts I ordered the vans to pass on the outside of the town, and I would seek a camping-place up-stream. Instead of this I was assured that we should pass through the town, and find a lovely grove of olive-trees by the river-side, the perfection of a halting-place. For the first time I now discovered that Georgi's wife and family lived in Dali, and that he was not such a fool as he looked.

In a few minutes we were descending a lane so narrow that the gipsy van only cleared the walls of the houses on either side by three or four inches. This lane had been paved centuries ago with stones of all sizes, from a moderate grindstone to that of a football. When people had wished to build a new house, they had taken up a few stones to make a foundation; the street was a series of pitfalls filled with mud and filth, including miniature ponds of manure-coloured water. The surface appeared impassable; the projecting water-spouts from the low roofs stuck out like the gnarled boughs of trees. Here was a pretty mess!—all because Georgi's wife was in town. It was impossible for anything larger than a perambulator to turn, and as the springs yielded to the uneven ground, the van bumped against the walls of the houses and threatened destruction. "Halt!" was the only word, and as the drag-shoe was on the wheel, we stopped. At this moment of difficulty a priest and some old women appeared with earthen vessels smoking with burning olive leaves; they immediately passed the smoke beneath the nostrils of the oxen, then around the van, and lastly ourselves. At the same time some good young women threw orange-flower water over my wife and myself from pretty glass vases with narrow necks as a sign of welcome. The incense of the priests was supposed to avert the "evil-eye" from the gipsy van and our party. I felt much obliged for the good intention, but I did not mind the "evil eye" so much as the water-spouts. In my experience of travelling I never met with such kind and courteous people as the inhabitants of Cyprus. The Dali population had already blocked the narrow streets from curiosity at our arrival, and soon understanding the cause of our dilemma, they mounted the housetops and tore off the obstructing water-spouts; where these projections were too strong, they sawed them off close to the eaves. A crowd of men pushed the van from behind, and guided the oxen, while others assisted by digging up the large paving-stones that would have tilted it against the house-walls. In this manner we arrived without serious accident upon the bank of the river which ran through the town. There was an open space here which was crowded with women and girls, who, with feminine curiosity, had assembled to see the English lady. Among these was the prettiest young woman I have seen in Cyprus, with a child in her arms. Her large blue eyes and perfect Grecian features were enhanced by a sweet gentle expression of countenance. She seemed more than others delighted at our arrival. This was Georgi's wife!—and I at once forgave him for deceiving us and yielding to the natural attraction of his home.

We were not quite out of our difficulty. Several hundred people had assembled, and all spoke at once, raising their voices in the hope that we should understand their Greek better than if spoken in a moderate tone: (why people will speak loud if you do not know their language I cannot understand:) but as we were utterly ignorant of their meaning we were not confused by their differences of opinion respecting our direction. It ended in our crossing the stony bed of the river, through which a reduced stream only a few inches deep flowed in the centre, and having with difficulty gained the opposite bank a hundred yards distant, we soon arrived in a sort of natural eel-trap formed by a narrow avenue of gigantic olive-trees, the branches of which effectually barred our progress and prevented the vans from turning.

A temporary loss of temper was a natural consequence, and having ridden in advance for about half a mile, I returned and ordered a retreat. We took the bullocks out, and by hand backed the wheels, until by shovels and picks we could clear a space for turning. We then re-crossed the river, and disregarding all native advice, struck into the country, and halted near a small grove of olives close to the new English road to the military station "Mattiati."

It was the 4th of February, and the temperature in the morning and evening was too cold (43 degrees) for pleasant camping. In spite of a chilly wind, crowds of women and children surrounded our vans and sat for hours indulging their curiosity, and shivering in light clothes of home-made cotton-stuffs. The children were generally pretty, and some of the younger women were good-looking; but there was a total neglect of personal appearance which is a striking characteristic of the Cypriote females. In most countries, whether savage or civilised, the women yield to a natural instinct, and to a certain extent adorn their persons and endeavour to render themselves attractive; but in Cyprus there is a distressing absence of the wholesome vanity that should induce attention to dress and cleanliness. The inelegance of costume gives an unpleasant peculiarity to their figures—the whole crowd of girls and women looked as though they were about to become mothers. The coarse and roughly-tanned, uncared-for high boots with huge hobnails were overlapped by great baggy trousers. Above these were a considerable number of petticoats loosely hanging and tied carelessly at the waist, which was totally unsupported by any such assistance as stays. A sort of short jacket that was of no particular cut, and possessed the advantage of fitting any variety of size or figure, completed the attire. The buttons that should have confined the dress in front were generally absent, and the ladies were not bashful at their loss, but exposed their bosoms without any consciousness of indelicacy. There was no peculiarity in the arrangement of the hair, but each head was tied up in a cloth, either white or some gaudy colour, which, once gay, had been sobered in its hues by dirt. In spite of this neglected exterior, the women had remarkably good manners; they seldom approached my wife without presenting, with a graceful gesture, some wild flowers, or a little bunch of sweet herbs, which they had purposely gathered, and we were quickly made rich in quantities of double narcissus, marigolds, and rosemary. Upon our arrival at a town or village the girls and boys would frequently run to their gardens and provide themselves with either a single flower, or rosemary, with which they would await us in the street and offer them as we passed by. Throughout Cyprus we have received similar well-meant attention, and the simplicity and delicacy of the offering contrasts in an anomalous manner with the dirty habits and appearance of the people. Even Georgi's pretty wife was untidy about the hair, although she was in her best attire; and a close inspection of all women and girls showed that their throats and breasts were literally covered with ancient and modern fleabites. Their dwellings are extremely filthy, and swarm with vermin, as the fowls, goats, or even a cow or two, generally increase the domestic party. It is well known that Paphos in Cyprus was the supposed birthplace of Venus, and that the island was at one time celebrated for the beauty of women and immorality: the change has been radical, as I believe no women are more chaste, and at the same time less attractive, than the Cypriotes of the present time. They are generally short and thickset; they are hardly treated by the men, as they perform most of the rough work in cultivation of the ground, and, from the extreme coarseness of their hands, they can seldom be idle; the men, on the contrary, are usually good-looking, and are far more attentive to their personal appearance.

Dali was an interesting spot to any agriculturist. The soil was exceedingly rich, as it had been formed, like all valleys in Cyprus, by the alluvium washed down from the surrounding hills; these were from three to six hundred feet above the level of the plain, and were composed of the usual hard species of chalk and gypsum; thus the deposit from their denudation by rains supplied the chief constituents for the growth of vines and cereals.

There is a depressing absence of all recent improvements in journeying through Cyprus; even at Dali, where the water from the river was used for irrigation, and large farms in the occupation of the wealthy landowner, M. Richard Mattei, were successfully cultivated, I could not help remarking the total neglect of tree-planting. The ancient olive-groves still exist by the river's side, and, could they speak, those grand old trees would be historians of the glorious days of Cyprus; but there are no recent plantations, and the natives explained the cause in the usual manner by attributing all wretchedness and popular apathy to the oppression of the Turkish rule. This wholesale accusation must be received with caution; there can be no doubt of the pre-existing misrule, but at the same time it is impossible to travel through Cyprus without the painful conviction that the modern Cypriote is a reckless tree-destroyer, and that destruction is more natural to his character than the propagation of timber. There is no reason for the neglect of olive-planting, but I observed an absence of such cultivation which must have prevailed during several centuries, even during the Venetian rule. It is difficult to determine the age of an olive-tree, which is almost imperishable; it is one of those remarkable examples of vegetation that illustrates the eternal, and explains the first instincts of adoration which tree-worship exhibited in the distant past. I spent some hours with the olive trees of Dali; they were grand old specimens of the everlasting. One healthy trunk in full vigour measured twenty-nine feet in circumference; another, twenty-eight feet two inches. Very many were upwards of twenty feet by my measuring-tape; and had I accepted the hollow or split trees, there were some that would have exceeded forty feet. There can be little doubt, that these olives throve at the period when Idalium was the great city in Cyprus; they may have exceeded two thousand years in age, but any surmise would be the wildest conjecture. It may not be generally known that the olive, which is of slow growth and a wood of exceeding hardness, remains always a dwarf tree; a tall olive is unknown, and it somewhat resembles a pollard ilex. When by extreme age the tree has become hollow it possesses the peculiar power of reproduction, not by throwing up root-shoots, but by splitting the old hollowed trunk into separate divisions, which by degrees attain an individuality, and eventually thrive as new and independent trees, forming a group or "family-tree," nourished by the same root which anchored the original ancestor.

The gnarled, weird appearance of these ancient groves of such gigantic dimensions contrasted sadly with the treeless expanse beyond, and proved that Cyprus had for very many centuries been the victim of neglect. The olive is indigenous to the island, and the low scrub jungles of Baffo, the Carpas district, and other portions abound with the wild species, which can be rendered fruitful by grafting. In selecting trees for the extension of forests, there is a common-sense rule to guide us by observing those varieties which are indigenous to the country; these can be obtained at the lowest cost, and their success is almost assured, as no time need be lost from the day of their removal to the new plantation. Such trees as are rendered fruitful by grafting offer peculiar advantages, as the stocks already exist upon which superior varieties may be connected. The principal food of the Cypriotes consists of olives, beans, bread, and onions; they seldom eat what we should call "cooked food;" whether this is owing to the scarcity of fuel, or whether it is natural in this climate to avoid flesh, I cannot determine: some say the people are too poor, and cannot afford mutton at twopence a pound, while at the same time they will not kill the oxen that are required for purposes of draught; they refuse the milk of cows, and only use that of sheep or goats. The fact remains that the country people seldom eat butcher's meat, but subsist upon olives, oil, bread, cheese, and vegetables.

Under these circumstances it would be natural to suppose that the accepted articles of consumption would be highly cultivated and superior in quality; but the reverse is the fact. The olive-oil is so inferior that foreign oil is imported from France for the use of the upper classes; the olives are of a poor description, and, as a rule, few vegetables are cultivated except in the immediate vicinity of town markets, the agricultural population or country people being too careless to excel in horticulture, and depending mainly upon the wild vegetables which the soil produces in abundance. If the people are too inert to improve the qualities and to extend the cultivation of vegetables, it is easy to comprehend their neglect of the tree-planting so necessary to the climatic requirements of this island.

The oil-press is similar to the old-fashioned cider-mill of England. The fruit, having been dried in the sun, is placed in a circular trough in which the stone wheel revolves, driven by a mule and pole. When sufficiently crushed, and reduced to a paste, it is divided into basketfuls; these are subjected to pressure by the common vertical screw, and the oil is expressed, but is not clarified. It is generally rancid and unfit for European consumption. In travelling through Cyprus the medicine-chest may dispense with castor-oil, as the olive-oil of the country is a good substitute. By the government report, the yield of oil in 1877 was estimated at 250,000 okes (of 2 3/4 lbs.) valued at about nine piastres per oke, but during the same year foreign olive-oil to the value of 1,706 pounds sterling was imported. There can be little doubt that special attention should be bestowed upon the improvement of the olive cultivation in Cyprus, and grafts of the best varieties should be introduced from France and Spain; in a few years an important improvement would result, and the superabundant oil of a propitious season would form an article of export, instead of (as at present) being converted into soap, as otherwise unsaleable.

Our crowd of female admirers was happily dispersed by a slight shower of rain, and by clouds which threatened a downpour; the men remained, and a swarthy-looking thoroughbred Turk promised to accompany me on the morrow and show me the neighbourhood. I was informed in a mysterious whisper by a Cypriote "that this man was a notorious robber, whose occupation was gone since the arrival of the British;" he had formed one of a gang that had infested the mountains, and his brother had murdered a friend of Georgi (the van-driver), and was now in gaol at Rhodes for the capital offence. The Turk was very intelligent, and thoroughly conversant with the various methods of breech-loading firearms; he examined several rifles and guns belonging to me, and at once comprehended the mechanism, and explained it to the admiring crowd. When this individual left our camp in the evening, the story that I had heard in outline was corroborated by the driver Georgi, who asked me to exert my influence to procure the hanging of the murderer now at Rhodes, as the Turkish authorities would never execute a Turk for the murder of a Greek unless influenced by foreign pressure. It appeared that the Cypriote had informed against one of the gang for cattle-stealing, accordingly several members of the fraternity picked a quarrel with him at a drinking-shop one evening at Dali, and stabbed him fatally. My new acquaintance, the Turk, was not present during the fray, and I could not promise Georgi the intervention he desired.

On the following morning seven natives of Dali appeared—all Greeks—accompanied by the ex-robber, whom I regarded as "a wicked man who had turned away from his wickedness," with whose antecedents I had no concern. They had brought their guns, which were at once submitted to me for an opinion of their merits, with a vain expectation that I should pronounce them to be "English." I was to be guided to a spot about an hour's march distant, where partridges and hares were said to abound, and it appeared that an impromptu shooting-party had been arranged especially for my amusement.

I am not very fond of such sporting meetings, as the common guns of the people, which are constantly missing fire when required to shoot, have an awkward knack of going off when least expected; my mind was somewhat relieved when the tactics were explained, that we (nine guns) were to form a line of skirmishers about two hundred yards apart, commanding a mile of country.

There is a great advantage in sport, as the search for game leads a traveller into all kinds of places which he would otherwise leave unseen. It is a great enjoyment to stroll over a new country accompanied by good dogs, and combine at the same time sport and exploration.

Upon arrival at the summit of the hill range which we had passed on our left when we had arrived at Dali, I was well repaid, and the necessity of judging a country from a hill-top instead of from a highroad was well exemplified. I looked down upon the highly-cultivated and fertile valley of Lymbia, surpassing in extent the plain of Dali, and although the successive ranges of hills and mountains were bleak and barren in their whiteness, the intervening valleys were all occupied either by vineyards or by fields in tillage. Even the ravines upon the steep hill-sides which had been scored out by the rainfall of ages were artificially arranged to catch the melted earth in its descent during heavy storms, and to form terraces of rich alluvium.

A succession of rough walls composed of the large rocks which strewed the surface, were built at convenient intervals across the ravines, forming a series of dams or weirs. The soil of Cyprus is peculiar in dissolving very quickly during a shower, and the water rolls down the steep inclines carrying so much earth in solution, that, should its course be checked, it deposits an important quantity, sufficient in a few seasons to form a surface for a considerable area. The walls of the dams are continually raised as the earth attains a higher level, and the ground thus saved is a complete gain to the proprietor.

The few partridges were very wild, and saved my dogs the trouble of hunting by showing themselves at a couple of hundred yards; the only chance of shooting them depended upon stray birds passing within shot when disturbed by the long line of guns. I only bagged one partridge and a hare, and the rest of the party had the miserable total of two birds. This was a fair example of the sport on the bare hill-sides of Messaria.

The new road to Mattiati was unfit for vans; I therefore rode over to visit the camp of the 20th Regiment, eight miles distant, and after luncheon with the officers of that regiment I accompanied their party to Lithrodondo, the Colonel having kindly lent me a fresh horse. My aneroid showed an increased elevation of 330 feet in the eight miles from Dali to Mattiati. After leaving the Dali plain the road passes through the usual hills of hard chalk, but about two miles from the entrance an important change was exhibited in the geological structure. Eruptive rocks had burst through the chalk, producing interesting metamorphic phenomena. The hills no longer fatigued the eye by the desolate glare, but the earth was a rich brown diversified with patches of bright chocolate colour.

The greenstone cropped out through the surface in large masses, accompanied by a peculiar dun-stone precisely similar to that of Knowles Hill in South Devon. In a cutting through a hill-side by the government new road veins of bright yellow ochre were exposed, also red ochre in considerable quantities. I took samples of the yellow, which appeared to be of a good quality; but I believe the commercial value is too insignificant to support the charges of land-transport and the subsequent freight from Larnaca.

Mattiati is about 1300 feet above the sea-level. The troops were camped in wooden huts on low hills about forty feet above a flat valley, where olive-trees throve in considerable numbers. I should not have selected Mattiati as a sanitary station; the plain showed evident signs of bad drainage, and the rich deep soil would become a swamp after heavy rains. Upon the low hills within a mile of the station were vast quantities of scoriae or slag from ancient smelting-furnaces, and the remains of broken pottery, mingled with stones that had been used in building, proved that important mining operations had been carried on in former ages.

From Mattiati to Lithrodondo the country is broken and little cultivated; there was no longer a sign of cretaceous rock, but the bold range of mountains rose before us crowned by Makheras, 4730 feet, apparently close above us, dark in plutonic rocks and sparsely covered with myrtles and other evergreens. As we neared the base of the mountains, the vegetation increased, and passing the dirty village of Lithrodondo, we entered upon a succession of hills divided by numerous small torrent-beds, the steep banks of which were thickly fringed with oleanders, mastic, myrtles, and other shrubs, which formed an inspiriting change from the weary treeless country we had left behind. Beyond Lithrodondo are extensive vineyards; but it was late, and I was obliged to turn back towards Dali, fifteen miles distant.

Wherever I had been since my departure from Larnaca the natives had complained of the effects of fever to which they are subjected during the summer months; but they were unanimous in declaring that "the general sickness of the last year was exceptional, and that the fevers were not of a dangerous nature." It is well known that upon our first occupation of the island in July, 1878, all troops, both English and Indian, suffered to a degree that would have rendered them unfit for active service. It is true that the actual mortality was not excessive; but the strength of an army must be reckoned by the EFFECTIVE force, and not by numbers. There can be no doubt that, owing to a season declared by the inhabitants to be exceptionally unhealthy, and the unfortunate necessity for a military occupation during the extreme heat of July and August, the troops being overworked, badly fed, and unprotected from the sun, the newly-acquired island was stamped with a pestilential character, and Cyprus became a byeword as a fever-smitten failure. I shall give my personal experiences, untinged by any prejudice. The natural features of the country produced a sad impression upon my first arrival in a scene where the depressing influence of a barren aspect must to a certain extent affect the nervous system; but a careful examination of the entire surface of the island subsequently modified my first impressions, with results which these pages will describe.

There was no object in prolonging my visit to Dali; the tombs of ancient Idalium had already been ransacked by the consuls of various nations; and had I felt disposed to disturb the repose of the dead, nominally in the interests of science, but at the same time to turn an honest penny by the sale of their remains, I should have been unable to follow the example of the burrowing antiquarians who had preceded me; a prohibition having been placed upon all such enterprises by the English government.

It is supposed that Idalium is one of the largest and richest treasuries of the dead in Cyprus. For several centuries the tombs had been excavated and pillaged in the hopes of discovering objects of value. The first robbers were those who were simply influenced by the gold and other precious ornaments which were accompaniments of the corpse; the modern despoilers were resurrectionists who worked with the object of supplying any museums that would purchase the funeral spoil.

It is a curious contradiction in our ideas of propriety, which are measured apparently by uncertain intervals of time, that we regard as felonious a man who disinters a body and steals a ring from the fingers of the corpse a few days after burial in an English churchyard, but we honour and admire an individual who upon a wholesale scale digs up old cemeteries and scatters the bones of ancient kings and queens, princes, priests, and warriors, and having collected the jewellery, arms, and objects of vanity that were buried with them, neglects the once honoured bones, but sells the gold and pottery to the highest bidder. Sentiment is measured and weighed by periods, and as grief is mitigated by time, so also is our respect for the dead, even until we barter their ashes for gold as an honourable transaction.

The most important object of antiquity that has been recently discovered by excavations at Dali is the statue of Sargon, king of Assyria, 707 B.C., to whom the Cypriote kings paid tribute. This was sent to the Berlin Museum by Mr. Hamilton Lang, and is described in his interesting work upon Cyprus during the term of several years' consulship.

The ruins of ancient cities offer no attraction to the traveller in this island, as nothing is to be seen upon the surface except disjointed stones and a few fallen columns of the commonest description. The destruction has been complete, and if we wish to make discoveries, it is necessary to excavate to a considerable depth; but as all such explorations are prohibited, the subject remains fruitless. General di Cesnola, whose work upon the antiquities of Cyprus must remain unrivalled, describes the tombs as from forty to fifty-five feet beneath the present surface, and even those great depths had not secured them from disturbance, as many that he opened had already been ransacked by former explorers.

On the 7th of February the thermometer at eight A.M. was only 40 degrees. The oxen were put into their yokes, and after a discussion concerning the best route to Lefkosia, it was agreed that Georgi should be the responsible guide, as he was a native of the country.

When travelling on horseback through the district of Messaria there is no difficulty of roads, provided you know the country thoroughly, as you may canter, in the absence of enclosures, in any direction you may please; but the Cypriotes have an awkward habit of leading their watercourses straight through any route that may exist for wheeled conveyances, and you suddenly arrive at a deep ditch and high bank, which block the thoroughfare. Georgi had assured us that no difficulty would delay us between Dali and the high road from Larnaca to Lefkosia, which we should intersect about half-way between the two termini. Instead of this, after travelling for a couple of miles along a good hardened track, we arrived at a series of trenches which effectually stopped all progress. Each van had a pickaxe and shovel, therefore we all set to work in rapid relief of each other to level the obstructions, and by this hard exercise the thermometer appeared to rise quickly from the low temperature of the morning. The oxen were good, and by dint of our united exertions in heaving the wheels and pushing behind, we dragged the vans through the soft ground that had filled the ditches, and then slowly travelled across ploughed fields and alternate plains of a hard surface covered with abominable thistles.

We passed on our left a large farm that exhibited a wonderful contrast to the general barrenness of the country. The fields were green with young wheat and barley, and numerous sakyeeahs or cattle-wheels for raising water supplied the means of unfailing irrigation. I believe this property belonged to Mr. Mattei, and there could be no stronger example of the power that should be developed throughout this island to render it independent of precarious seasons. It is a simple question of a first outlay that is absolutely necessary to ensure the crops. Throughout the barren plain of Messaria water exists in unfailing quantity within a few yards of the parched surface—thus at the same time that the crops are perishing from the want of rain, the roots are actually within a few feet of the desired supply. The cattle-wheels of Cyprus are very inferior to the sakyeeah of Egypt, but are arranged upon a similar principle, by a chain of earthenware pots or jars upon a rope and wheel, which, revolving above a deep cistern, ascend from the depth below, and deliver the water into a trough or reservoir upon the surface. From the general reservoir small watercourses conduct the stream to any spot desired. This is the most ancient system of artificial irrigation by machinery, and it is better adapted for the requirements of this country than any expensive European inventions. As I shall devote a chapter specially to the all-important question of irrigation, I shall postpone further remarks upon the cattle-wheel; but the farm in question which formed a solitary green oasis in the vast expanse of withered surface was a sufficient example of the necessity, and of the fruitful result of this simple and inexpensive method. It is a mere question of outlay, and the government must assist the cultivators by loans for the special erection of water-wheels. But of this more hereafter.

At about six miles from Dali we struck the road between Larnaca and Lefkosia (or Nicosia). The newly-established mail-coach with four horses passed us, with only one passenger. We met it again on the following day, with a solitary unit; and it appeared that the four horses on many occasions had no other weight behind them than the driver and the letters. With this instance of inertia before their eyes, certain lunatics (or WISE CONTRACTORS) suggested the necessity of a railway for twenty-eight miles to connect the two capitals! The mail had an ephemeral existence, and after running fruitlessly to and fro for a few months, it withdrew altogether, leaving an abundant space in Cyprus for my two vans, without the slightest chance of a collision upon the new highway, as there were no other carriages on the roads, excepting the few native two-wheeled carts.

We halted five miles from Lefkosia, where a new stone bridge was in process of construction and was nearly completed. We had already passed a long and extremely narrow Turkish bridge across the river about four miles in our rear. By pacing I made the new bridge twenty-nine feet, the same width as the road, and I could not help thinking that a much less expensive commencement would have been sufficient to meet the requirements of the country. In Cyprus the rainfall is generally slight and the earth is tenacious, and in dry weather exceedingly hard; if half the width of the road had been carefully metalled in the first instance, a great expense would have been saved at a time when the island was sadly in want of money; the natural surface of the firm soil would have been preferred by all vehicles except during rain, when they would have adopted the metalled parallel way. It is easy to criticise after the event, and there can be no doubt that upon our first occupation of the island a much greater traffic was expected, and the road between the two capitals was arranged accordingly. We halted for the night at the new stone bridge, which, as usual in Cyprus, spanned a channel perfectly devoid of water. On the following morning we marched to Lefkosia, and passing to the left of the walled town, we reached the newly-erected Government House, about a mile and a half distant, where we received a kind and hospitable welcome from the High Commissioner, Sir Garnet, and Lady Wolseley.

The position of the new Government House was well chosen. The character of the dreary plain of Messaria is the same throughout; flat table-topped hills of sedimentary calcareous limestone, abounding with fossil shells, represent the ancient sea-bottom, which has been upheaved. The surface of these table-heights is hard for a depth of about six feet, forming an upper stratum of rock which can be used for building; beneath this are marls and friable cretaceous stone, which during rains are washed away. The continual process of undermining by the decay of the lower strata has caused periodical disruption of the hard upper stratum, which has fallen off in huge blocks and rolled down the rough inclines that form the sides. As the water during heavy rains percolates through the crevices of the upper stratum, it dissolves the softer material beneath, and oozing through the steep inclination, carries large quantities in solution to the lower level and deposits this fertilising marl upon the plain below. In this manner the low ground of the rich but dreary Messaria has been formed through the decay and denudation of the higher levels, and the process will continue until the present table-topped hills shall be entirely washed away. The stone of the upper surface, which forms a hard crust to the friable strata beneath, is in many places merely the roof of caverns which have been hollowed out by the action of water as described.

The Government House was erected upon one of these flat-topped hills in a direct line about 1900 yards from the nearest portion of Lefkosia. It was a wooden construction forming three sides of a quadrangle. The quarters for the military staff were wooden huts, and the line of heights thus occupied could not fail to attract the eye of a soldier as a splendid strategical position, completely commanding Lefkosia and the surrounding country. From this point an admirable view was presented upon all sides. The river Pedias (the largest in Cyprus), when it possessed water, would flow for about 270 degrees of a circle around the base of the position, the sides of the hill rising abruptly from the stream. The dry shingly bed was about 120 yards in width, and although destitute of water at this point, sufficient was obtained some miles higher up the river to irrigate a portion of the magnificent plain which bordered either side. Sir Garnet Wolseley was endeavouring to put a new face on the treeless surface, and had already planted several acres of the Eucalyptus globulus and other varieties on the lower ground, while date-palms of full growth had been conveyed bodily to the natural terrace around the Government House and carefully transplanted into pits. This change was a considerable relief to the eye, and the trees, if well supplied with water, will in a few years create a grove where all was barrenness.

The view from each portion of the terrace is exceedingly interesting, as it commands a panorama for a distance of nearly thirty miles. On the north is the range of mountains, about twelve miles distant, which form the backbone of Cyprus, and run from east to west, attaining the height of 3400 feet. This is a peculiar geological feature in the island, as it is the only instance of compact (or jurassic) limestone. Through my powerful astronomical telescope I could plainly distinguish every rock, and the Castle of Buffavento upon the summit of the perpendicular crags afforded an interesting object, although invisible to the naked eye. The south and east presented a miserable aspect in the brown desert-like plain of Messaria, broken by the numerous flat-topped hills to which I have already alluded. On the west the important mountain-range which includes Troodos bounded the view by the snow-capped heights of the ancient Mount Olympus, between which several chains of lower hills formed a dark base of plutonic rocks, which contrasted with the painful glare of the immediate foreground. The highest points of this range are Troodos, 6590 feet, Adelphe, 5380 feet, Makhera, 4730 feet. These are the measurements as they appear upon the maps; but the recent survey by the Royal Engineers has reduced the height of Troodos by 250 feet. A green patch at the foot of the Carpas range denoted the position of Kythrea, about twelve miles distant east, watered by the extraordinary spring which has rendered it famous both in ancient and modern times; and almost at our feet, or a mile in a direct line, the fortified capital, Lefkosia, presented the usual picturesque appearance of a Turkish town. A combination of date-palms, green orange-gardens, minarets, mosques, houses quaint in their irregularity and colouring, and the grand old Venetian Cathedral, St. Sophia, towering above all other buildings, were enclosed within the high masonry walls and bastions, comprising a circuit of three statute miles.

The position of Lefkosia has been badly chosen, as it lies in the flat, and must always have been exposed to a plunging fire from an enemy posted upon the heights. It was fortified in the time of Constantine the Great, but in 1570 the Venetians demolished the old works and constructed the present elaborate fortifications. Although the walls are in several places crumbling into ruins, they are still imposing in appearance, and present a clean front of masonry flanked by eleven bastions, and entered by three gates, those of Baffo, Famagousta, and Kyrenia. The original ditch can be traced in various places, but the counterscarp and glacis have been destroyed; therefore the soil has washed in during the rainy seasons, and to an unpractised eye has obliterated all traces of the former important work. On the other hand, the disappearance of the glacis renders the height of the walls still more imposing, as they rise for thirty or forty feet abruptly from the level base, and at a distance maintain the appearance of good condition.

It is difficult to imagine the reason which induced the Venetians to reproduce Lefkosia after they had demolished the original fortifications; but it is probable that they had already erected the cathedral before the expected Turkish invasion rendered the improved defences necessary. Although in the early days of artillery shell-fire was unknown, both the Turks and Venetians possessed guns of heavy calibre far exceeding any that were used in Great Britain until recent years. The marble shot which are still to be seen in Famagousta are the same which served in the defence of that fortress in 1571. These are nearly eleven inches in diameter, while in the fort of Kyrenia the stone shot are still existing, nineteen inches in diameter, composed of an exceedingly hard and heavy metamorphic rock. The long bronze guns which threw the smaller stone shot of from six to eleven inches, would command a far more extensive range than the interval of the heights which dominate Lefkosia; and even should battering have been ineffective at that distance against walls of masonry, the plunging fire would have destroyed the town and rendered it untenable.

Traces are still visible of the Turkish approaches when the town was successfully carried by storm on the 9th of September, 1570, after a siege of only forty-five days. The short duration of the attack compared to the length of time required in the siege of Famagousta, which at length succumbed to famine, and not to direct assaults, is a proof of the faulty strategical position of the fortress of Lefkosia.

Most Turkish towns are supplied with water by aqueducts from a considerable distance, which would naturally be cut by an enemy as the first operation. The water is brought to Lefkosia from the hills at some miles' distance, and is of excellent quality; but the wells of the town must be contaminated by sewage, as there is no means of effective 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 south.

CHAPTER IV.

THE MESSARIA.

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 afternoon.

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 surface.

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 business.

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 perishing.

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 water.

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 dwarf-cypress.

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 stream.

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.

CHAPTER V.

START FOR THE CARPAS.

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 cotton-gins.

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 route.

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 arrival."

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 Lithrankomi.

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 breakwater.

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 visible.

CHAPTER VI.

CAPE ST. ANDREA.

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 alluded.

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 March we started.

This ride of fourteen miles was the most interesting we had made since our arrival in the island. After returning upon our old route for about nine miles, we struck off to the right (north) and ascended a steep gorge between precipitous wooded heights, where the light green foliage and the exceedingly bright red stems of numerous arbutus contrasted with the dense masses of dark greens which entirely clothed the surface. Upon arrival, about 600 feet above the sea we obtained a splendid view, as a table-topped hill of nearly equal height, with the usual steep cliff-like sides all covered with verdure, stood prominently in the foreground, and the deep valleys upon either side, abounding in rich caroub-trees and olives, led directly to the sea, about six miles distant and far below. We now crossed the watershed, and the view increased in beauty as it embraced a complete panorama, with the sea upon three sides, to the north, south, and east, with the mountains of Asia Minor in the far distance.

We arrived at Rizo-Carpas, which is situated in a gently-sloping vale about 450 feet above the sea-level, but surrounded upon all sides by superior heights, from which the coast of Caramania is distinctly visible during clear weather. The valley and slopes are highly cultivated with cereals, and plantations of mulberry-trees for the support of silkworms; numerous caroub-trees throughout the district give an agreeable and prosperous appearance. Although there is no actual town, native dwellings are dotted over the face of the country for some miles, ornamented by three churches, which present an air of civilisation and prosperity. The inhabitants were, as usual, very polite, and as Lady Baker and myself were sitting upon a rug beneath a tree which we had selected for the evening's halt, and waiting for the arrival of our camels, a crowd of women and children arrived with the ugliest and most witch-like old hag that I have ever seen. This old creature had brought fire and dried olive-leaves in a broken pot, with which she immediately fumigated us by marching round several times, and so manipulating her pot as to produce the largest volume of smoke. This custom, which is so general throughout Cyprus, is supposed to avert the evil-eye; but I imagine that it originated during a period when the plague or some other fatal epidemic was prevalent in the island, and fumigation was supposed to act as a preventative.

There is no medicinal property in the olive-leaf, but as the tree is practically undying, I attribute the use of the leaves as incense to be symbolically connected with the blessing of a long life expressed to a welcomed guest. It is one of those vestiges of tree-worship which may be traced in almost every country, both savage and civilised, and may be seen exhibited in Egypt, where the almost everlasting species of aloe is suspended above the doorway of a house as a talisman or safeguard to the family within: the idea thus expressed, "As the plant never dies, may your family last for ever." We got rid of the old hag and her smoky offering, and she became lost in the crowd which thronged around us; this was composed of the ugliest, dirtiest, shortest, and most repulsive lot of females that I ever saw: it was painful to look at them.

There was a general complaint that the silkworms had deteriorated, and that the mulberry-trees had suffered from a disease which had killed great numbers. It appeared to me that the decay of the trees was a sufficient reason for the inferiority of the silkworms. This was a serious loss to the inhabitants, as Rizo-Carpas was celebrated both for the quality and quantity of its silk-production.

From the watershed a few hundred yards behind our camp we had a good view of the northern coast below, which extended in a series of rocky bays and prominent points to the west, while the entire country from the shore to the rising ground formed a rich picture of caroub-trees and plots of cultivation. The hills upon which we stood, about 450 feet above the sea, were the continuations of the long Carpas range, where the force of the upheaval had become expended towards the east. As we looked westward the line of hills gradually heightened, until the well-known points of the compact limestone were clearly distinguished among the rugged outlines of the greater altitudes.

There was nothing of interest to induce a longer stay in Rizo-Carpas, therefore we started on the following morning upon our return journey, and after a lovely march of twenty miles, partly along an elevated plateau which commanded a view of both seas north and south, and then descending some 700 or 800 feet by a steep and interesting pass, we arrived at Lithrankomi, after passing through Gallibornu.

To my astonishment the oxen and their drivers, instead of awaiting me at Lithrankomi, were still at the latter village, and hearing that we had passed through, they came on to join us, but only arrived some hours later, at nightfall. I discharged my camels that evening, as the carts would begin their new contract on the following morning.

I rose early on the next day, as we had a long march of twenty-two miles before us to Trichomo; but as the oxen had been resting for many days, and I had been paying highly for their food while they had been doing nothing, I knew they must be in first-rate condition, and in spite of bad roads they would accomplish the distance. There was always a difficulty in inducing the carters to start early, but this morning there was a greater delay than usual, and I myself went to superintend the loading of the carts. I could hardly believe my eyes! In Georgi's cart the oxen had been yoked. There was a black creature about half a foot shorter than its fellow, and composed of skin and bones. The horns of this animal were antiquities: a drawn appearance about the head and face, and deeply sunken eyes, denoted extreme age. The fellow ox I recognised after some time as our old friend in reduced circumstances; it had been going through a course of wild artichokes and prickly thistles since I had seen it last, which had brought it into racing condition by the loss of at least a hundredweight of flesh; the poor beast looked starved. Georgi had accordingly saved the whole of the allowance I had paid for food of the best quality, which he had pocketed while his animal was turned out to graze. "Where are my oxen?" I inquired of the conscious Georgi; who wisely remained silent. I now turned to Theodori's team, and I at once perceived that he also had exchanged one of the superb oxen which I had hired, and upon which I had depended for drawing the gipsy-van; but the new purchase was a very beautiful animal, although inferior in height to its companion, which had much fallen off in condition, having been fed upon the same unnutritious food. I had been regularly done, as the animals for which I had paid highly had not only been neglected, but had been exchanged.

I very quickly explained to the proprietors that they had no right whatever to exchange the oxen which I had engaged, and for which I was paying in my absence, therefore I should refuse to accept them, as the contract was broken; and I immediately ordered the camels to be loaded with the contents of the carts. Fortunately the discharged animals were grazing within a few yards of our camp.

My servants now explained that Georgi the thick-headed had been done by his dear friend and companion Theodori, "the man of ability," who had accompanied me into the Carpas with the sole intention of cattle-dealing. It appeared that after my departure from Gallibornu, Theodori had suggested to his friend that a saving might be effected in the keep of four animals by reducing them to two, and he advised that they should at once sell each one ox, and arrange to purchase new animals by the time that I should return; they would by this method pocket half the sum which I had agreed to pay daily for four oxen during my absence at Cape St. Andrea. They subsequently came to the conclusion that their remaining oxen should live upon their wits and thistles, instead of causing an expense in the purchase of cotton-seed, lentils, and tibbin (broken barley-straw). Theodori informed Georgi that he knew of two beautiful animals that might be obtained by the exchange of two of their oxen with a small sum of money in addition, and he would arrange the matter if Georgi would part with the dark cream-coloured ox with black points (his best). Of course the innocent-minded, broad-shouldered, herculean Georgi knew that his friend would protect his interests, and he left the matter in his hands. The unmitigated rascal Theodori knew that the beautiful fat red ox that he wished to purchase was some years younger than the old well-trained oxen which formed his pair, and therefore it would be more valuable; he accordingly agreed to give one of his oxen and one of Georgi's FOR A PAIR from the proprietor of the fat red animal, who consented to the exchange, receiving the two fine animals which I had hired and, giving the valuable young red ox together with the miserable old creature that I had seen that morning in the yoke. This worn-out old skeleton was to be Georgi's share of the bargain! I told Georgi that my dogs would not eat the animal if it should die, as it was too thin. My servants burst out laughing when Christo the cook translated the account of the transaction. The shameless scoundrel Theodori, who was present, SMILED at the relation of his shrewdness; and the big Georgi burst out crying like a child at the loss of his fine ox, the duplicity of his friend, and the want of sympathy of the bystanders, who made a joke of his misfortune. I was very sorry for poor Georgi, as he was really an excellent fellow; he had been only foolish in trusting to the honour of his friend, like some good people who apply for assistance to Lord Penzance; however, there was no help for it, and he departed crying bitterly.

My servants were fond of the man, and their hearts began to soften after they had enjoyed the first hearty laugh at Georgi's expense, and Christo, who was always the factotum, shortly came with a suggestion, that, "If I would write an order for the immediate return of Georgi's bullock, on the plea that as I had hired the animal no one had a right to exchange it until the expiration of my contract," there would be no difficulty, as "the purchaser would be afraid to retain the animal upon seeing Georgi armed with a written paper." "But," I said, "what is the use of my writing in English, which no one can understand?" Christo assured me that it would have a better effect if nobody could read the contents, as Georgi could then say anything he pleased. I wrote an order for the return of the ox as belonging temporarily to me by contract, and Georgi having wiped his eyes, immediately set off on foot towards Gallibornu, full of confidence and hope.

Theodori declared that it would be impossible for his oxen to reach Trichomo in one day; I therefore loaded the camels, and advised him to await Georgi's return; should they re-appear at Kuklia, where the vans were lying, I would re-engage them as far as Lefkosia, and in the meantime I would pay them for the daily keep of their animals, who were to be well fed, and to discontinue the course of wild artichokes and thistles.

We took a different route upon leaving Lithrankomi, by keeping upon the high plateau instead of the lower valleys through which we had arrived on our way from Volokalida. We accordingly left this village some miles to the south, but as we were passing through a broad cultivated plain, a portion of which had recently been ploughed, we observed a crowd of women and girls who were engaged with baskets in collecting wild artichokes, which the plough had dislodged. As we approached a sudden rush was made in our direction, the baskets were placed upon the ground, and a race took place over the heavy soil to see who would be the first to greet us. We discovered that these were our friends of Volokalida, who had walked across the hills in a large party to collect wild vegetables; they seemed delighted to see us, and insisted upon shaking hands, which, as they had been grubbing in the freshly-turned ground, was rather a mouldy operation. We shook hands with about thirty members of this primitive agricultural society, and were glad to waive an adieu before the arrival of the older women in the rear, who with their heavy nailed boots were running towards us, plunging about in the deep ground in clumsy attempts at juvenile activity. A few of the young women were very pretty, but, as usual in Cyprus, their figures were ungainly, and their movements, hampered by baggy trousers and enormous high boots, were most ungraceful.

On arrival at Trichomo we pitched our tent at some distance from the dwelling in which we had fed some thousand fleas upon our former visit; and on the following morning I determined to go straight Famagousta, about twelve miles distant.

The route from Trichomo is for the most part along the seashore, but occasionally cutting off the bends by a direct line. The plain is a dead level, as it has been entirely deposited by the floods of the Pedias river. We rode tolerably fast, the sun being hot and the country most uninteresting; we had left the shrub-covered surface of the Carpas with its romantic cliffs and deep valleys rich in verdure, and once more we were upon the hateful treeless plain of Messaria. During our sojourn in the Carpas district the rainfall by our gauge had been 1.28 inches, but in this unattractive region there had only been one or two faint showers, hardly sufficient to lay the dust. The crops about five inches above the ground were almost dead, and the young wheat and barley were completely withered.

About four or five miles from Famagousta we arrived at the ruins of ancient Salamis. The stringent prohibition of the British authorities against a search for antiquities in Cyprus had destroyed the interest which would otherwise have been taken by travellers in such explorations. As I have before remarked, there are no remains to attract attention upon the surface, but all ancient works are buried far beneath, therefore in the absence of permission to excavate, the practical study of the past is impossible, and it is a sealed book. Fortunately General di Cesnola has published his most interesting volume, combining historical sketches of ancient times with a minute description of the enormous collection of antiquities which rewarded his labours during ten years' research; so that if our government will neither explore nor permit others to investigate, we have at least an invaluable fund of information collected by those whose consular position during the Turkish rule enabled them to make additions to our historical knowledge. Mr. Hamilton Lang has also published his experiences of a long residence in the island, during which his successful excavations brought to light valuable relics of the past which explain more forcibly than the leaves of a book the manners, customs, and incidents among the various races which have made up Cyprian history. General di Cesnola, after quoting the legend which connects the origin of Salamis with the arrival of a colony of Greeks under Teucer (the son of Telamon, king of the island of Salamis) from the Trojan expedition, continues, "Of the history of Salamis almost nothing is known till we come to the time of the Persian wars; but from that time down to the reign of the Ptolemies it was by far the most conspicuous and flourishing of the towns of Cyprus." "Onesius seized the government of Salamis from his brother, Gorgus, and set up an obstinate resistance to the Persian oppression under which the island was labouring, about 500 B.C. In the end he was defeated by a Persian army and fell in battle, and it was about this time, if not in consequence of this defeat, that the dynasty of Teucer was, for a period, removed from the government of Salamis. As to the length of this period there is great obscurity. It seems, however, to be certain that with the help of the Persians a Tyrian named Abdemon had seized the throne, and not only paid tribute to Persia, but endeavoured to extend the Persian power over the rest of the island. To Salamis itself he invited Phoenician immigrants, and introduced Asiatic tastes and habits." Following upon this usurpation came the revolt and the restoration of the Teucer dynasty, under Evagoras, B.C. 374, and eventually upon the partition of the empire of Alexander the Great it fell to the lot of Antigonus, after the severe contests between Demetrius and Menelaus.

Like all ancient sea-ports of importance, Salamis was the object of continual attacks, and by degrees its prosperity declined. In addition to the damage and loss by sieges, it was seriously affected by an earthquake, and a portion disappeared beneath the sea. The sand has submerged a large area of the ruins which face the sea, but General di Cesnola was able to trace the ancient wall for a distance of 6850 feet. It is quite possible that the earthquake may have altered the conditions of the harbour, which in former days was of considerable importance. It has now entirely changed, and the bay near the shore is extremely shallow, although good anchorage exists in the roadstead in ten to sixteen fathoms.

The high masonry piers which had supported the arches of the ancient aqueduct from Kythrea looked like spectres of past greatness among the silent ruins, made doubly desolate by the miserable aspect of the withered plain around them. A short distance from these is the church of St. Barnabas, raised upon the site where it is believed that the body of the Saint was discovered, together with the Gospel of St. Matthew. How the Saint and the Gospel had been preserved in the damp soil of that neighbourhood must be left to the imagination.

Passing through the ruins of the old town with the line of the wall distinctly visible upon the sea front, we shortly arrived at the spot where the river Pedias should have an exit to the sea. No sign of a river-bed existed, but a long series of swamps, composed chiefly of bare mud, would during wet weather have made a considerable detour necessary; they were now dry, with the exception of two or three holes full of muddy water, which were unconnected with any perceptible channel. A long stone causeway proved that occasionally the hardened mud upon which we rode would become a lake, but from the numerous tracks of animals the earth was preferred to the uneven and slippery pavement of the artificial road. The enormous quantity of mud brought down by the Pedias during its fitful inundations had completely obliterated all signs of an ordinary river-bed, and the deposit had produced a surface that was scored in numerous places by the rush of water, without in any way suggesting that we were in the neighbourhood of the largest river in Cyprus. The width of this muddy swamp was about two miles, and terminated by a shallow lake upon our left. We were now within a mile and a quarter of Famagousta, and the ground began to rise. It struck me that an eminence upon our right was superior to the height of the city walls, and I rode up to examine the position. There was no doubt that it commanded the lower portion of the fortress, and that a direct shell- fire could be plunged into the rear of the guns which protect the entrance of the harbour. In the event of modifications being introduced when restoring the defensive works of Famagousta, it would be necessary to erect a powerful detached fort upon this position, which would be an immense addition to the defences of the city, as it would enfilade the approaches upon two sides.

The walls of Famagousta are most imposing; they are constructed of carefully-squared stone joined with cement of such extreme hardness that the weather has had no destructive effect. The perimeter of the fortress is about 4000 yards; the shape is nearly a parallelogram. The fosse varies in depth and width, but the minimum of the former is twenty-five feet, and of the width eighty feet, but in some places it exceeds one hundred and forty. This formidable ditch is cut out of the solid rock, which is the usual calcareous sedimentary limestone, and the stone thus obtained has been used in the construction of the walls. The rock foundation would render all mining operations extremely difficult. The fire from the ramparts is increased by cavaliers of great size and strength, capable of mounting numerous heavy guns at a superior altitude. The only entrance from the land side is at the south-west corner; this is exceedingly striking, as the fosse is about 140 feet wide, the scarp and counter-scarp almost perpendicular, being cut from the original rock.

A narrow stone bridge upon arches spans this peculiar ditch, the communication depending upon a double drawbridge and portcullis. Immediately facing the entrance outside the fortress is an old Turkish churchyard, through and above which the closed masonry aqueduct is conducted into the town. Following the course of the aqueduct along a straight line of sandy heights which somewhat resemble a massive railway embankment, we arrived at a mosque in which is the venerated tomb of the Turkish soldier who first planted the flag upon the walls of Famagousta when captured, in 1571, from the Venetians. This tomb is in a small chamber within the building and is covered with green silk, embroidered; but as the city was never taken by assault, and capitulated upon honourable terms after a protracted defence, the fact of establishing the Turkish flag upon the walls after their evacuation by the garrison would hardly have entitled the standard-bearer to a Victoria Cross; however he may have otherwise distinguished himself, which entailed post-mortem honours, perhaps by skinning alive the gallant Venetian commandant Bragadino, whose skin, stuffed with straw, was taken in triumph to Constantinople hanging at the yard-arm of the victorious general's ship.

Quitting the mosque, we continued along the aqueduct, always upon the same sandy heights, which gradually increased, until we arrived at a position about 200 yards from a windmill. This formed a prominent object at the back of the large village of Varoschia, situated upon the slope beneath facing the sea, about a quarter of a mile distant. I selected the highest position for a camp; this was close to the aqueduct and about 600 yards from the entrance of the fortress. I counted the embrasures of six guns that could have been brought to bear exactly upon our tent, but at the same time I remarked that we commanded the lower portion of the fortress, and could fire into the rear of the batteries upon the sea-wall within the water-gate at a most destructive range. This position would require a detached fort with a line of works along the heights flanked by a small fort at the extremity. Three detached forts upon as many points which now exist would render Famagousta impregnable, should the present works be repaired, and improved by some slight modifications.

I had been through the fortifications upon a former occasion, when I had the advantage of Captain Inglis the chief commissioner's guidance, but they are so extensive and of such exceeding interest that many days might be expended in a study of the details.

Upon entering the fortress by the drawbridge we passed through the arched and dark way beneath the ramparts, and emerged into a narrow street, which was swept and free from the usual impurities of a Turkish town, thus exhibiting proofs of a British occupation. A perfect labyrinth of narrow lanes, bordered by most inferior dwellings, confused a stranger, but with the assistance of a guide I reached the residence of the chief commissioner and the various officers attached to the establishment. Beyond this all modern buildings ceased, and Famagousta was presented as it must have appeared after the sack and utter destruction by the Turks in 1571. It looked as though a town had been shattered and utterly destroyed by an earth-quake, whose terrible tremblings had shaken every house to its foundation, and left nothing but shapeless heaps of squared stones. O Turk! insatiable in destruction, who breaks down, but never restores, what a picture of desolation was here! Three centuries had passed away since by treachery the place was won, and from that hour the neglected harbour had silted up and ceased to be; the stones of palaces rested where they fell; the filth of ages sweltered among these blood-sodden ruins; and the proverb seemed fulfilled, "The grass never grows on the foot-print of the Turk." I never saw so fearful an example of ruin.

Although the town was in this hideous state, the fortifications were in very tolerable repair, and had guns been mounted an enemy would quickly have acknowledged their formidable importance. Time appeared to be almost harmless in attacks against these vast piles of solid masonry. The parapets in the angles of the embrasures were twenty-five and twenty-seven feet in thickness. From these we looked down forty-five and fifty feet into the ditch beneath. As we walked round the ramparts and various bastions we remarked the enormous strength of the commanding cavaliers to which I alluded from the outside appearance of the forts. There were also vast subterranean works, store-houses, magazines, cannon-foundries, and all the appliances of a first-class fortified town and arsenal; but these were of course empty, and with the exception of a small chamber near the water-gate, which contained a number of rusty helmets and breastplates, there was no object of interest beyond the actual plan of the defences.

The water-gate was approached by a winding entrance beneath a powerful circular bastion from an extremely narrow quay, from which the remains of a once powerful mote projected about 120 yards into the sea and commanded the inner harbour. This was now a mere line of loose and disjointed stones. A citadel that is separated from the main fortress by a wet ditch which communicates with the sea by an adit beneath the wall commands the harbour on the east side. This ditch is as usual scarped from the rock, and otherwise of solid masonry; should the fortress have been successfully carried by assault on the land side, a vigorous defence might have been maintained in this independent citadel until either reinforcements should arrive by sea, or an escape might be effected to friendly vessels.

It is commonly asserted that Famagousta under the Lusignans and Venetians "counted its churches by hundreds and its palatial mansions by thousands." It would certainly have been impossible that they could have existed within the present area, as a large extent must have been required for barrack accommodation for the garrison, parade-grounds, &c. There are ruins of several fine churches with the frescoes still visible upon the walls. The Cathedral of St. Nicholas is a beautiful object in the Gothic style. Although dismantled and converted into a mosque by the Turks, the roof is in good repair, and its magnificent proportions remain, but they are marred by the stopping of the windows with rough stones and mortar. The total length of the cathedral is 172 feet 6.5 inches. Length of apse (included in above) 30 feet 9 inches; breadth of apse 32 feet 3 inches; breadth of cathedral 74 feet 1 inch; circumference of pillars 15 feet 3 inches, there being 12 pillars in all.

On the outside walls are the marks of various cannon-shot which appear to have been successfully resisted by the soft but tough sedimentary limestone, which is of similar quality to that used in the construction of the fortress. I observed that the impact of the shot has been confined to the immediate neighbourhood of the blow, and that the concussion has not been communicated to the adjoining stone, but has expended itself in crumbling the opposing surface to the depth in which it was eventually imbedded. It would be interesting to try some experiments upon those walls of Famagousta (which may already require repair or alteration) with modern heavy artillery, as should this stone exhibit unusual powers of resistance it may become valuable. Nothing would be easier than to fire a few rounds from a ship's battery to prove the question.

The courtyard of an ancient Venetian palace now forms the British parade-ground. This faces the cathedral entrance, and is ornamented by piles of marble cannon-shot, which are upwards of ten inches in diameter; these were the Venetian relics of the siege of 1571.

From Cape Greco to Cape Elaea, south to north, is about twenty-five miles; these points form the bay, nine miles in extreme width. Although open to the east and south-east, Famagousta is the only real harbour in Cyprus that can be available for large vessels, and there can be no doubt that a very moderate outlay would not only restore its ancient importance, but would make those additions of modern times that are required for a first-rate and impregnable coaling-station and arsenal.

It was blowing a fresh gale from the south-east when I was standing on the ramparts facing the sea above the water-gate, and an admirable example was displayed in the wave-breaking power of the long line of sunken reefs which form a continuation of those natural breakwaters above the surface that have formed the harbour. A tremendous surf exhibited a creamy streak along the margin of comparatively still water within the reefs for about a mile parallel with the shore, comprising an area of about 700 yards' width at the extremity of the sunken rocks, and 500 from the existing breakwater exactly opposite the water-gate. Within this secure haven several native vessels were snugly at anchor, but ships of war would hardly venture among the varying shallows caused by centuries of silt; such large vessels generally anchor in seventeen fathoms about a mile from the shore, but they are completely exposed to wind from east and south-east. The inner harbour is formed by the artificial connection of raised heads of projecting reefs by stone jetties. At right angles with this complete defence of limestone rock is a wall or jetty from the shore, which for a distance of 170 yards incloses the basin of perfectly still water within. The entrance to this snug little port is about forty yards in width, and the depth is most irregular, varying from dry silt close to the south end of the reefs up to twelve feet beneath the walls of the fortress. There were many small coasting-vessels and caiques which trade between the various ports of Syria and Asia Minor, all having sought shelter from the bad weather within the port; and the picture presented during the strong gale was thoroughly illustrative of the natural advantages and the future requirements of the harbour. The long line of reefs which form the outer protection would, were they exposed in their whole length, represent an irregular incline from about twelve feet above the sea level at the southern end to three fathoms below water at the northern extremity. A wedge laid with its broad base to the south would represent the inclination of this long line of useful reef, which can be converted into a sea-wall by simply filling-in with blocks of concrete to a sufficient height above the extreme water-mark. The ancient jetty which connects the small islands that form the northern head of the reef is in itself an example of the necessity of such an extension throughout the line. A natural headland terminating in disconnected rocks upon the north boundary of the reef about half a mile above the fortress is a secure protection from the sea, but it admits the silt. This has completely filled in a considerable portion of the original harbour, and were this sea-communication destroyed by connecting the various reefs with the main headland, the evil would be at once prevented, and the inclosed area might be cleansed by dredging. This would not only add to the accommodation of the inner harbour by a considerable extension, but it would afford an admirable position for a series of docks, and yards for the repairing of vessels. I walked through the whole of this confined mass of rocks, silt, and water only a few inches deep, and was much impressed with the capabilities of the locality. Such powerful dredgers as are used in the Suez Canal would clear away the deposit, with an outlay that could be calculated by the cubic contents, and the large margin that must generally be allowed in all estimates for harbour works would, in the case of Famagousta, be superfluous.

There are two enemies to be resisted—the sea, and the silt. The latter has been and still is brought down by the Pedias river; this has entirely blocked the ancient harbour of Salamis, and partially destroyed that of Famagousta. The engineer has to repel these enemies, and he possesses a great advantage in the fact that Famagousta has already existed as a most important harbour, therefore he is not experimenting upon an unknown bottom. The line of reefs affords the engineer's chief desideratum, "a sound foundation," and the materials for his concrete blocks are close at hand in the chaotic mass of stone now choking with ruins the area of the city, in the neighbouring ruins of Salamis, and, nearer still, in the native rock from which Famagousta has been quarried. The island of Santorin from whence the pozzolano is supplied for hydraulic cement, is only three days distant. Few places possess in so high a degree the natural advantages for becoming a first-class harbour, and it has been computed that about 300 acres of water can be converted into a wall-locked basin, with an entrance from the south that would be secure during all weathers. The Bay of Famagousta is extremely deep, exceeding 150 fathoms which affords an additional facility for getting rid of the contents of the lighters, as the mud from the dredgers could be discharged at sea without danger of its return.

All competent persons who have examined the present harbour are unanimous in the opinion that "a very moderate outlay would secure a first-class port, which would, as an impregnable coaling-depot and arsenal, complete the links of the chain of fortresses which are the guardians of the Mediterranean. In a war with any maritime Power the first necessity is an uninterrupted line of fortified coaling-stations, at intervals not exceeding five days' steaming at ten knots. A naval war will depend entirely upon the supply of coal, which will in all probability be declared "contraband of war." In the absence of a dependable chain of stations THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, the action of the most powerful cruisers will be extremely limited, as they will be rendered helpless when their supply is reduced to the minimum sufficient to carry them to a friendly port.

Where oceans must be traversed, the difficulty will be increased, as the coal-capacity of the vessel will only command a given mileage; she will therefore be in her weakest condition after a long voyage, and as her fighting power must depend upon her steam, precisely as the strength of man depends upon his food, she must be absolutely certain of obtaining a supply of coal in every sea where her presence is required.

Should the most powerful vessel afloat, after a long cruise during which she has encountered head-winds and weather that had caused delay and a great consumption of fuel, be reduced to only a few hours' steaming, she would be at the mercy of an inferior antagonist whose bunkers might be well filled. The commerce and the colonies of Great Britain demand the presence of our vessels in every sea; the greater part of that enormous carrying-power is now represented by steamers which have replaced the sailing-vessels of old: therefore in the event of war we must possess coaling-depots which in case of necessity could meet the demands of any of our ships, whether naval or commercial.

The attention of the usually far-seeing public is seldom directed to this important question of coaling-stations, but an examination of a recently constructed globe will discover the apparently insignificant red dots which represent the dominant power of England in every portion of the world. The smallest island may become the most impregnable and important coaling-depot. It is the fashion for some modern reformers (happily few) to suggest a curtailment of the British Empire, on the principle that "by pruning we should improve the strength of the national tree." If there are rotten boughs, or exhausting and useless shoots, the analogy might be practical; but if we examine carefully a map of the world it would puzzle the Royal Geographical Society to determine the point that we should abandon. An example of temporary insanity was displayed in the evacuation of Corfu; which would under our present foreign policy have become invaluable as a powerfully fortified coaling-station, commanding the entrance of the Adriatic and the neighbouring seas. It is this unfortunate precedent which is paralysing all the natural elasticity of commercial enterprise in Cyprus, as the inhabitants and English alike feel their insecurity, and hesitate before the uncertain future, which may depend upon a party vote in the distant House of Commons.

There can be no doubt that Cyprus or Crete was requisite to England as the missing link in the chain of our communications with Egypt. As a strategical point, Cyprus must be represented by Famagousta, without which it would be useless for the ostensible purpose of its occupation. Many persons of great practical experience would have preferred Crete, as already possessing a safe harbour in Suda Bay, with a climate superior to that of Cyprus, while according to our assumed defensive alliance with Turkey in the event of a renewed attack by Russia, we should have acquired the advantage of Cyprus whenever required, without the expense or responsibility, and we should in addition have established a station on the coast of Asia Minor at the secure harbour afforded by the Gulf of Ayas at Alexandretta.

These geographical questions are a matter of opinion, but now that we actually have occupied Cyprus it is absolutely necessary to do something. Without Famagousta, the island would be worthless as a naval station; with it, as a first-class harbour and arsenal, we should dominate the eastern portion of the Mediterranean, entirely command the approach to Egypt, and keep open our communications with the Suez Canal and the consequent route to India. In the event of the Euphrates valley line of railway becoming an accomplished fact, Cyprus will occupy the most commanding position. But, all these advantages will be neutralised unless Famagousta shall represent the power of England like Malta and Gibraltar. The more minutely that we scrutinise the question of a Cyprian occupation, the more prominent becomes the importance of Famagousta; with it, Cyprus is the key of a great position; without it, the affair is a dead-lock.

There is unfortunately a serious drawback in the extreme unhealthiness of this otherwise invaluable situation, Famagousta, which would at present render it unfit for a military station. There are several causes, all of which must be removed, before the necessary sanitary change can be accomplished. The vast heaps of stones, all of which are of an extremely porous nature, have absorbed the accumulated filth of ages, and the large area now occupied by these ruins must be a fertile source of noxious exhalations. During the rainy season the surface water, carrying with it every impurity, furnishes a fresh supply of poison to be stored beneath these health-destroying masses, which cannot possibly be cleansed otherwise than by their complete obliteration. It may be readily understood that the high ramparts of the walls to a certain extent prevent a due circulation of air, which increases the danger of miasma from the ruin-covered and reeking area of the old Venetian city. Should the harbour works be commenced, all this now useless and dangerous material will be available for constructing the blocks of concrete required for the sea-wall, and the surface of the town will be entirely freed from the present nuisance without additional expense. The few modern buildings should be compulsorily purchased by the Government, and entirely swept away, so that the area inclosed by the fortification walls should represent a perfectly clean succession of levels in the form of broad terraces, which would drain uniformly towards the sea. Upon these purified and well-drained plateaux the new town could be erected, upon a special plan suitable to the locality, and in harmony with the military requirements of a fortified position. The value of the land thus recovered from the existing ruin would be considerable, and, if let on building leases, would repay the expense of levelling, draining, and arranging for occupation. In this manner one of the prime causes of the present unhealthiness would be removed; by the same operation, the ditch of the citadel would be pumped dry, and all communication shut off from the sea, which now produces a stagnant and offensive pool, breeding only reeds, mosquitoes, and malaria.

We now arrive at the most formidable origin of the Famagousta fever—the marshes caused by the overflow of the Pedias river. The description that I have already given of the delta formed by the deposit of mud during inundations, and the total absence of any exit for the waters by a natural channel, will convey to the minds of the most inexperienced an extreme cause of danger. I can see only one practicable method of surmounting this great difficulty. The Pedias river must be conducted to the sea through an artificial channel, and it must (like the Rhone) be confined between raised banks of sufficient height to prevent any chance of overflow, and of a width arranged to produce a rapid current, that will scour the bed and carry the mud to deposit far beyond the shore. This work would be expensive, but, on the other hand, the collateral advantages would be great. The land, which is now almost valueless, owing to the uncertainty of inundations, would be rendered fruitful, and by an arrangement of cattle-wheels the irrigation could always be ensured, as the water exists within five feet of the present surface. At this moment, neither drains are made, nor any control of nature is exercised by the fever-stricken population, who trust entirely to the uncertain chances of the seasons. We have an example in the original fens of Lincolnshire, which, by a system of drainage, have been brought into agricultural value; a series of large and deep open ditches, such as are seen in every marsh or river-meadow throughout England, would not only drain the surface of the Famagousta delta, but would supply the water, to be raised by cattle-lifts and wind-pumps, for the purposes of irrigation. There is much work for the agricultural engineer, but if this important enterprise is seriously commenced the future results will well repay the outlay.

Some persons have attributed the cause of unhealthiness to the existence of the trenches made by the Turks during the siege in 1571, which are considered to emit malarious exhalations. I do not think so; all these low levels, surrounded by high banks which protect the crops from wind, are most carefully cultivated with beans, cereals, cotton, and garden produce, and I do not believe that successful gardens are malarious, but only those localities where water is allowed to become stagnant, in which case cultivation must be a failure. Many of these rich bottoms were at one time valuable as "madder" grounds, and Consul White states that in 1863 good madder-root land at Famagousta was worth 90 pounds per acre. It may not be generally known that the indelible dye called "Turkey red" was formerly produced from the madder-root, but that it has been entirely superseded by the chemical invention known as "alizarine," which, by reducing the price in a ruinous degree, has driven the vegetable substance out of the market, and the madder is no longer cultivated. This chemical discovery has lowered the rich, deep, sandy loams of Famagousta and of Morphu to a mere average agricultural value, and has completely destroyed an important local industry.

The madder-root required three years before it arrived at maturity. From Consul Riddell's report in 1872, the amount of madder exported reached 330 tons, of which 250 tons were shipped for Great Britain. The same authority reports in 1873, "The falling-off, however, in the quantity sent to Great Britain is remarkable, being only 230 cwts. (11.5 tons)." This disappearance of a special agricultural industry has been an enormous loss to the proprietors of the madder-lands.

The fruit-orchards and gardens of Famagousta are the finest in the island. The land is extremely rich, and of a bright chocolate colour, but the trees are, as usual in Cyprus, planted too close to each other, which interferes with the necessary light and circulation of air. These gardens commence just outside the walls, and, running parallel with the sea below the large village of Varoschia, extend for about two miles along the shore. Oranges, lemons, pomegranates, apricots, figs, prickly pears and mulberry-trees, are the chief products, and it was here that we obtained the largest and best oranges that I had tasted in the island; generally this fruit is much inferior to the varieties imported into England. The pomegranates of Cyprus are very celebrated, and are exported to Egypt, but it is a fruit that is not generally appreciated by Europeans. There are extensive gardens inland, but they do not convey the idea of "gardens" as understood by Englishmen, but are merely dense groves of various fruit-trees, irrigated by a cattle-wheel, and planted with an utter disregard of all taste or arrangement.

The large village, or town of Varoschia is an important adjunct to Famagousta, from which it is hardly separated. It was originally founded by the Venetian Christians, who were expelled from Famagousta after the Turkish conquest. There is a large Greek Church, extensive bazaars, and several manufactures of pottery, for which the locality is celebrated. We saw a vessel loading in the harbour entirely with these—jars, water-bottles, dishes, &c.—but the earthen-ware is of a coarse description, and the quality of the clay does not admit of sufficient porosity for the purpose of cooling water or of filtering, like the Egyptian ware; at the same time it is not sufficiently impervious for the retention of wine or oil without a considerable loss by absorption. Varoschia has been always celebrated for a large production of a high quality of silk, but the quantity has fallen off, as in all other parts of the island. There are some good houses in this thriving and busy little town, and it is said that decent accommodation may be had; but I preferred the cleanliness and independence of our own tent.

Varoschia is not much healthier than Famagousta, as it suffers from the same cause, in addition to an enormous accumulation of filth on the heights at the rear of the town. If this were carefully stored to manure the numerous gardens, it would be profitably utilised; but it belongs to nobody in particular, and is a public nuisance. A fine should be inflicted upon the municipal authorities in the sanitary interests of the population, and the refuse of the neighbourhood should be periodically collected into heaps and burned. Captain Inglis and the various British officials moved their quarters from Famagousta to the healthy village of Derinia, about three miles distant, during our stay near Varoschia. The new station is to the south-west of the port, and completely beyond the influence of the marshes, the elevation being about 250 feet above the sea. Should this locality become a permanently healthy settlement, the sanitary difficulty of our position will be considerably modified, as the troops might be quartered at Derinia in time of peace, and even during war they would be immediately within call.

A lake exists about three miles inland from Famagousta, which is between four and five miles in circumference; the water is fresh, but exceedingly shallow and impure, the edges covered with high reeds, which extend for several hundred yards from the shore. This lake swarms with varieties of water-fowl, which can only be shot by wading and waiting concealed in the high cover of rushes and tamarisk, as they are exceedingly wary. Commander Hammond, of H.M.S. Torch, bagged thirty-five ducks to his own gun upon one occasion, by thus challenging the fever and remaining hip-deep in the muddy water for some hours. I did not feel disposed to risk the chances of malaria, as the effluvium from the mud was sufficiently offensive even when walking round the margin, and I already felt some warning symptoms of the heavy atmosphere of Famagousta, which might, if neglected, have terminated in ague. I shot a fine specimen of the glossy ibis, and I otherwise contented myself with watching the variety of ducks, coots, teal, and other water-fowl through my glass, as they enjoyed themselves in flocks upon the surface of the lake at a great distance.

Having exhausted the sights of Famagousta, we started on the 22nd of March for Kuklia, twelve miles distant, where we had left our vans in charge of the headman during our absence in the Carpas country. Upon our arrival we found them untouched or unharmed, and we were met not only by the headman himself, but by our two bullock-drivers Georgi and Theodori, who had come from Lithrankomi. Georgi had recovered from the despair which had overpowered him when we last parted, and he was almost triumphant when he related the success of his mission to Gallibornu with the mysterious paper written in English, that I had given him in order to terrify the purchaser of his bullock. He had exhibited this awe-inspiring epistle, which nobody could either read or understand, and Georgi had taken advantage of his opportunity to threaten the sharp cattle-dealer with a long list of imaginary punishments that would be inflicted by English law should he refuse to return the bullock, which had been hired for a special service by an Englishman. The paper was closely scrutinised, and being in an unknown character, Georgi felt his advantage, and expounded the contents so forcibly that he worked upon the fears of the inhabitants of Gallibornu, who insisted that the Turk should compromise the affair and return the handsome bullock, receiving in exchange his own half-starved old animal, in addition to a present of half a sovereign. Georgi was only too delighted to immediately clench the bargain. I advised him in future to manage his own cattle-dealing instead of confiding in his able friend Theodori, and I ordered the oxen to be put in the yokes at once, and to draw the vans to our old camping-place beneath the hawthorn-tree. Upon arrival at the spot a great change had taken place; the hawthorns were a mass of blossom, and scented the air for a considerable distance; the groves of fig-trees had broken into leaf; the trefoil had grown to a height of two feet, and numerous cattle were tethered in the rich field, to feed upon the few square yards that each owner had purchased at a high price to save his animals from starvation. A field of broad-beans that we had left in early blossom twenty-four days before now produced our well-known vegetable for dinner, and I observed that the native children, with their usual liking for uncooked food, were eating these indigestible beans raw!

There had been no rain since our departure, and every crop that was not irrigated was absolutely destroyed. The aspect of the country was pitiable; it should have been at this season a waving sea of green barley and young wheat, but it was a withered desert —with a few patches of verdure like oases in a thirsty wilderness. This terrible calamity extended throughout the entire district or plain of Messaria, and exhibited a sad example of the great necessity of Cyprus—"an organised system of artificial irrigation."

We remained some days at Kuklia, during which I strengthened the gipsy-van by lashing the frame-work with raw bull's-hide and securing the blocks of the springs to the axles with the same material. It is worthy of note "that a fresh hide should never be used for lashing, but a skin that has been already dried should be soaked for twenty-four hours, and then cut into a strip as carefully and as long as the size will permit. When thus prepared, it should be re-soaked for four or five hours, and used while wet as a lashing, drawn as tight as possible. The power of contraction is enormous, and when dry the skin becomes as hard as wood; but a fresh hide has not the same contractive power, and will stretch and become loose when subject to a severe strain." It was a great comfort to return to the luxury of the gipsy-van, which looked the picture of neatness; the gorgeous Egyptian lantern had ceased to exist as an object of value, as it had several times been upset and thrown completely off its hook by the jumpings and bumpings of the vehicle when forcibly dragged over the steep banks and watercourses. It was now reduced to an "antique," and looked as though it had been recovered from the ruins of an ancient temple.

The post was kindly forwarded from Famagousta by the chief commissioner, and we revelled in newspapers, which during our stay in the Carpas had been a complete blank. Our cook Christo had also received letters which disconcerted him. After dinner at about 8.30 P.M. he suddenly appeared at the tent door with a very large breakfast-cup in his hand. "I beg your pardon, sir, but I'm sorry to say my mother has just fallen down and broken her leg!" was his first announcement; and he continued, "she is an old woman, past fifty, sir, and a broken leg is a very bad thing; I have come to ask for some brandy, and I've brought a cup."

"Your mother broken her leg, Christo? Why, where is she?" I replied.

"She is at Athens, sir, and I want a drop of brandy, as I have just received the letter, and I am very anxious about her."

I now discovered that the brandy was not intended for his mother's leg, but for his own stomach, to comfort his nerves and to allay his filial anxiety. He had a good dose that quickly restored his usual spirits, as I heard him relating stories in the servants' tent which created roars of laughter.

Christo was an excellent, hard-working fellow, who having passed his life at sea, was exceedingly handy, and combined the usual good qualities of a sailor with the art of cookery and a certain knowledge which enabled him to act as interpreter. He was as clever in lashing up a van with raw hide as in preparing a dinner at the shortest notice, and his mayonnaise would have raised the envy of many a professor in England. His English varied like his dishes, and upon certain days there was a considerable vagueness in his language, while at other times he expressed himself clearly. Upon one of these foggy intervals I asked him "Why the people had made so much noise during the night?" and he replied, that "A little hen-horse had made one child in the stable!" He intended to explain that a pony had foaled in the stable. When he first joined us he frequently rambled and confused his genders, and termed all females "hens," which at times had almost as ludicrous an effect as the mistakes of my African cook, who invariably called "cocks and hens"— "bulls and women." I never had so useful a man in travelling, as he excelled at tent pitching and arranging the luggage on pack-animals, and took the lead in everything; in addition to which he showed a great interest in interpreting, which is a rare quality in a dragoman.

We selected a road upon higher ground for our return to Lefkosia, and thus avoided the watercourses which had caused so much vexation and delay upon our former journey. The first night's halt was at the long stone bridge across the Pedias river, about twenty miles from Kuklia, opposite the village of Kythrea at four miles distance—this was only constructed eight years ago, and it was already rendered impassable by the overflow of the torrent, which had carried away a considerable portion. On the following morning we arrived at the capital, and were once more hospitably received by Sir Garnet and Lady Wolseley.

CHAPTER VII.

KYRENIA AND THE NORTH COAST.

The change from camp-life to the luxury of Government House, with the charm of the society of Sir Garnet and Lady Wolseley and officers of the staff, was a most agreeable interlude in the usually monotonous journey through Cyprus. The view from the verandah had changed, and was certainly not charming, as the few green tints that had looked hopeful on our former visit had turned to brown; but the house within more than compensated for the cheerlessness of the exterior landscape. A picnic excursion to the castle of St. Hilarion had been arranged for the 29th instant by Colonel Greaves, C. B., chief of the staff, who kindly included us in the invitation. This point was seldom visited, as it was situated 3240 feet above the sea upon the sky-line of the crags above Kyrenia, and the ride there and back covered a distance of about thirty miles from Lefkosia. The energy of English ladies rather astonishes the people of this country, where inertia is considered to be happiness, and although our animals were ordered to be saddled punctually at 6 A.M. the owner in Lefkosia was sceptical as to our actual start at so early an hour; therefore much time was lost on the morning in question in sending messengers vainly to and fro for the missing mule and pony; and 8 A.M. arrived before their appearance. The party had started two hours earlier. Colonel White, 1st Royal Scots, who was the chief commissioner at Lefkosia, had kindly waited to accompany us. As St. Hilarion was only a short distance to the left of the Kyrenia road, I had determined not to return, but to send the camels and luggage on direct. We left all unnecessary luggage locked up within the vans, which Sir Garnet Wolseley kindly permitted us to leave at head-quarters. We took leave of our good and big friend Georgi and his sharp companion Theodori, who returned to Dali, where Georgi would meet the only Venus that I have seen in Cyprus, his wife; but even that pretty Venus was ruined by high boots and baggy trousers.

Crossing the dry bed of the Pedias below the Government House, we struck a line over the open and withered plain to a direct route to Kyrenia. At a distance of about five miles from Lefkosia, the broad and well-trodden road became lost in a variety of independent paths, which at length converged into one narrow route that ascended a curious formation of water-washed and utterly denuded hills, composed of sandstone, claystone, and peculiar deposits of sedimentary rock, which in places resembled an artificial pavement. In many places the strata were vertical, exhibiting the confusion that had been created by the upheaval. Having passed through a succession of ups and downs for about three miles, sometimes winding through narrow gorges where the soil was covered with an efflorescence of salt, at other places clambering over loose rocks and entering narrow glens, we arrived in a plain at the foot of the bold and bluff range of the Carpas mountains. The path led to a village almost concealed amongst dwarf-cypress and pines, at a spot where the ascent commenced to a deep gorge forming a gap between the heights upon either side, through which the road was being rendered accessible for wheeled conveyances to Kyrenia.

We had quitted the Messaria and its misery; thank Heaven, we once more looked upon green trees, and magnificent cliffs of compact grey limestone tinted with various colours according to the presence of metallic substances, instead of wearying the eyes with the depressing brown of a withered surface. The road was improving under the hands of several working parties, and the animals stepped along at a cheerful pace. On the left hand were exceedingly steep slopes, ascending for several hundred yards to the base of cliffs, which rose in many places almost perpendicular to the height of more than 2000 feet above the sea. Upon our right we skirted a deep ravine, the bottom and sides of which were completely covered with mastic shrubs, and myrtles. Above this gorge the cliffs rose in imposing grandeur to about 3000 feet, the clefts being filled with evergreens; and in some unapproachable heights which man had not invaded the Pinus maritima ornamented the grey crags with its foliage of pale green.

We should have turned off to the left towards St. Hilarion, but, without a guide, we overshot the path, and having ridden about three miles through the gorge, always ascending, we suddenly burst upon the magnificent view of the northern side. At this moment a few heavy drops of rain fell from inky clouds which had been gathering among the mountains, and I thought it advisable to forego the excursion to St. Hilarion, and to push on towards Kyrenia, three miles distant, though apparently almost at our feet.

The dark clouds above us added to the beauty of the scenery. We looked down upon the blue sea, and the snow-covered mountains of Caramania in the northern distance, with the beautiful foreground of perpendicular green cliffs upon our right, up to nearly 3000 feet, and the abrupt mountain sides upon the left, which formed the entrance to the gorge. The narrow strip of three miles between the sea margin and the point upon which we stood was a green forest of caroub-trees, almost to the water's edge. The town, and its striking feature the Venetian fort, stood out in clear relief against the background of the sea. To the right and left, farther than the eye could reach, were trees of caroubs, varied by almonds, mulberries, and occasional date-palms, interspersed with highly irrigated fields of emerald green. The beautiful old monastery of Bellapais, erected by the Templars, although in reality half ruined, appeared from this distance like some noble ancestral mansion, surrounded by all that could make a landscape perfect: trees, water, mountains, precipices; above which towered the castle of Buffavento upon the craggy sky-line; while to the left, cutting with keen edges the dark cloud that hovered over it, were the walls and towers of St. Hilarion; where by this time we should have been eating luncheon with a charming party. Pit-pat came the heavy drops; and still drinking in the magnificent view, we descended the stony and steep path towards Kyrenia. When we arrived near the base, after a descent of about a mile and three-quarters, a perfectly straight road of a good width led direct to Kyrenia, through a forest of the shady and ever green caroub-trees. By this time the shower had cleared away, and only a few light clouds hovered over the high point of St. Hilarion, and having had nothing to eat, we began to wish for balloons to make a direct ascent to the well-provided party on the heights above us, who were enjoying the hospitality of Colonel Greaves. We comforted ourselves with the idea that we had at all events been wise in foregoing pleasure when upon the march, as the camels had been ordered to start from Lefkosia, and it would be advisable that the camp should be arranged without delay. We accordingly dismounted about half a mile from Kyrenia, and having tied the animals beneath a wide-spreading caroub, we selected another tree, beneath which we sat to await the arrival of the camels and servants; in the meantime I sent the muleteer into the town to buy us something to eat. After about an hour he returned, with a bottle of Commandoria wine, a bunch of raw onions, a small goat's-milk cheese, a loaf of brown native bread, and a few cigarettes, which the good, thoughtful fellow had made himself for my own private enjoyment. Many years of my life have been passed in picnicking, and when really hungry, it is astonishing how vulgar diet is appreciated; we regretted the loss of our friends, but we nevertheless enjoyed the simple fare, and having looked at our watches, we speculated upon the probable arrival of the camels and luggage, and waited patiently beneath the tree.

There is a limit to all endurance, and when 5 P.M. arrived without a sign of camels, we came to the conclusion that something had gone wrong. It was in vain that I had searched the pass with my binocular; only the white thread between the green shrubs appeared, that denoted the path; and this was desolate.

At length I observed something moving on the crest of the pass: mules or horses! then a parasol! somebody was coming; most likely returning to Kyrenia from the picnic? Presently a mule, saddled but without a rider, came galloping down the road. This we stopped, and secured; it looked like a practical result of a good luncheon and champagne cup. Shortly after this first appearance a dismounted English servant came walking down the road after his mule, which he was happy to recover from our hands. He had neither seen nor heard anything of our camels or people, but his master, the chief commissioner of Kyrenia (Dr. Holbeach, 60th Rifles), was approaching, together with Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson, all of whom were returning from St. Hilarion. At length the distant parasol drew nearer, and by degrees we could distinguish the party as they emerged from the pass upon the broad straight road.

As there are no highwaymen in Cyprus, I had no hesitation in walking suddenly out of the green wood upon the road-side and intercepting them as they arrived in front of our position; I explained that we were "waifs and strays" upon the wide world of Cyprus without baggage or servants, or, in fact, what Shakespeare calls "sans everything." Mr. Holbeach with much kindness and hospitality captured us as vagrants, and insisted upon escorting us to his house. Mrs. Stevenson was good enough to supply Lady Baker with a few little necessaries for the night, and Mr. Holbeach, having thoughtfully made up an impromptu little dinner-party of all named, we passed a most pleasant evening, although I fear that our sudden invasion of his bachelor's quarters must have caused him some inconvenience.

On the following morning, we enjoyed the splendid view from the covered balcony at the back of Mr. Holbeach's house, which showed the richest foreground in Cyprus in the dark green of caroub-forest and gardens of fruit-trees intermingled with plots of barley already in the ear. This rich front was backed by the wall of dark limestone cliffs two miles distant, 3000 feet elevation, with the castles of Buffavento and St. Hilarion perched left and right on the giddy summits of the highest crags, which in the clear atmosphere apparently overhung our position. We then breakfasted, took leave of our hospitable host, and rode back to Lefkosia to inquire into the cause of the delay.

On arrival we found a string of mules just starting, as the camels that had been engaged yesterday had never appeared. I sent off the servants and animals, with orders to pitch the tent upon the site of the old camp of the 42nd Highlanders, within a mile of Kyrenia; we then once more encroached upon the kindness of Sir Garnet and Lady Wolseley for the night. On the following morning we rode to Kyrenia, sixteen miles, and found tents pitched in a delightful situation, and the camp swept and arranged in perfect order. There could not have been a better site for a military camp, as the ground was firm and sloped gradually towards the sea, above which the elevation may have been about 120 feet. The beautiful caroub-trees afforded a dense shade for individual tents and for unlimited numbers of men. The ground had been well drained, and every care had been taken to ensure the health of the troops; but in spite of all sanitary arrangements they had suffered severely from fever, by which, although only four had actually succumbed, and now lay in the lonely little cemetery close to our tents, the regiment had been demoralised, and was withdrawn from this lonely position completely fever-smitten. I made close inquiries among the natives, and all agreed that the past year, having been unusually wet, had been exceptionally unhealthy, and the inhabitants had suffered almost to the same degree as the Europeans. It was painfully clear that when the rainfall was sufficiently plentiful to produce abundant harvests it at the same time ensured a crop of fevers.

We remained ten days in our Kyrenia camp, and we were both sorry to leave, as the neighbourhood is exceedingly beautiful and full of interest; there is certainly no portion of Cyprus that can equal it in the picturesque, or in the extreme richness of genuine forest-trees and foliage.

The town is small and most irregular: an old Turkish graveyard forms a boundary upon the outskirts opposite the fort, precisely similar in position to that of Famagousta. Within 300 paces of this point are the principal houses, mostly well built of stone and surrounded by high-walled gardens fruitful in oranges, lemons, almonds, apricots, figs, and the fruits commonly known throughout the island. The houses are generally one story above the ground-floor, with a wide balcony that forms an open face to the first-floor of five or six arches, which support the roof upon that side. This is a convenient plan for the climate, as it admits fresh air to all the rooms which open into the balcony; in fact it is an open landing to the staircase. A few date-palms ornament the gardens, the presence of these graceful trees being a sure sign of the preponderance of Turks in the population.

The fort of Kyrenia is a great curiosity, as it forms a portion of the harbour, being situated like the nose in a pair of spectacles, the basins being the eyes right and left. The actual defences are intact, although the inner accommodation for barracks, magazines, &c., &c., require great repairs and alteration. The walls are of solid squared masonry, the stones jointed with the usual imperishable cement, and rise to the great perpendicular height of upwards of seventy feet sheer from the bottom of the fosse. There is only one entrance, by a narrow bridge upon arches, across the extremely wide and deep ditch, terminating near the gateway by a drawbridge, which admits an entry in the face of the immense wall, with portcullis and iron-bound hinged gate. The ramparts overlooking the town and harbour on the west face are 147 yards in length, exclusive of the tower, and the embrasures of solid masonry measured at the angle are generally twenty-four feet in thickness. The fort is nearly square, and is flanked at each corner by a circular tower which would completely enfilade the ditch by several tiers of guns. This powerful fortress is washed by the sea upon two sides (the north and east), and the foundations upon the native rock are protected from the action of the waves by reefs and huge fragments of natural detached masses which characterise this portion of the coast. As I stood upon the parapet facing north I obtained an admirable view of the original harbours to my left and right, and although they could never have admitted large vessels, I was struck by the great importance of this sole place of refuge upon the northern coast of Cyprus, which in former times had suggested such a formidable arrangement for defence. The fort was constructed by the Venetians, but there are fallen masses of much older works that now lie at the foot of the sea-face, and add to the natural reefs in defending the foundations from the breaking water.

The style of this fortress suggests a date anterior to Famagousta, as it is devoid of cavaliers and depends for its defence upon the simple flanking fire of the four towers and the great height and thickness of the walls. It is supplied with fresh water by an aqueduct, and is provided with immense reservoirs of masonry to contain a sufficient quantity during a prolonged siege, when the outer aqueduct might be destroyed by the enemy. There are extensive subterranean caves and dungeons, but these have not yet been explored. Above this fine old specimen of Venetian fortifications, upon the high platform of the tower facing the harbour, was a flag-staff, upon which a small bundle of rags fluttered in the strong wind, as though they, had been arranged to frighten the jackdaws from building within the crevices of masonry. It appeared that this miserable remnant of tattered bunting had once represented a British Union Jack! and the colourless, poverty-stricken thing flapped and cracked as it tore itself into the finest threads of misery in the gale, too truly representing the result of our ambiguous position according to the terms of the Cyprian occupation. I felt ashamed that such an exhibition should meet the eye of any foreign ship upon entering the harbour of Kyrenia, and I was informed "that it was the only flag that was possessed by the authorities." As all the revenue of the island was handed over to the Porte excepting a bagatelle insufficient for the requirements of the country, the really overworked and energetic servants of the Crown were absolutely obliged to practise a most rigid economy, commencing with their own salaries, equally vexatious to themselves and unworthy of our high position.

The curious collection of old cannon had all been removed by the Turks, but one iron piece remained, which, being almost worthless as metal, had been left behind when the bronze guns had been shipped to Constantinople. This was a great curiosity, as it somewhat resembled a hand-bell about five feet in length; the bell which formed the mouth to receive the ball was only two feet in length, although the muzzle was sufficiently wide to admit the stone projectile of nineteen inches diameter. The portion which resembled the handle of a bell was the continuation which formed the narrow chamber for the powder; this was about three feet long and eight inches thick*. (*These measurements are from memory, excepting the diameter of muzzle, which I took on the spot.) There were no trunnions to this singular old gun, but it may have been lashed to some lever which could be raised or depressed, and it was evidently intended for firing into shipping from the fort walls, to command the harbour at a short range. It had been cast with concentric rings, which I examined carefully, as at first I imagined they had been wrought-iron shrunk on to the casting: this was not the case, but the extra thickness of metal at the rings added sufficient strength. The large stone shot, formed of a peculiarly hard metamorphous rock (a conglomerate of matter that had been fused by heat), were to be seen in various positions within the fortress. A few were on the parapet above the drawbridge, as though prepared for rolling over upon an assaulting party. I found this quality of rock upon the mountains within two miles of Kyrenia.

There were evidently two harbours, which included the small bay upon either side of the present fort; that upon the west was the most important, as the depth of water is greater, and it shows evident signs of having received peculiar attention. The remains of the ancient moles still exist, and afford considerable protection; but the sea has broken through in several places and washed away the upper tiers of stones. These moles were carefully constructed by laying the masonry upon a foundation of hydraulic cement, which connected the various natural rocks; the layer of cement still exists, while the squared blocks of the original surface may be seen at the bottom, where they have been deposited by the waves. Like all defensive works in historical countries, those of Kyrenia have undergone continual changes and modifications, as from time to time alterations may have been suggested by successful attacks. In a ruined tower which, completely isolated within the sea, commanded the entrance of the harbour on the west, I observed that an ancient column of white marble from some old building has been used as a key to prevent the large squared stones from yielding to the constant vibration caused by the breaking waves. Each tier of stones has been cut at the central edge to form a half-circle where the edges of the adjoining blocks were connected; those have been similarly shaped to produce a complete circle when faced together. The squared stones in the lower and upper tiers have been perforated in a circle, so that when several courses of masonry were completed, the hole represented a shaft of about twelve inches diameter, sunk from top to bottom; the marble column has been inserted from the top, and has tied each course effectively together; the havoc occasioned in this tower of solid squared blocks is the work of man; the stones have until recently been removed for the purposes of building.

Kyrenia could never have been a perfectly safe harbour in all weathers, as the entrance is open to the north. There is a slight turn to the east, which might have protected a few small vessels during a northerly gale, but this portion is now silted up, and it should be cleared by dredging. The houses rise above the harbour from the water's edge to the cliffs, forming a horseshoe shape. Mr. Holbeach had just completed a small quay of masonry, and a very moderate outlay would restore the ancient mole and render Kyrenia an important port for the trading vessels of Syria and Asia Minor. When a good carriage-road shall be completed to the capital, Lefkosia, only sixteen miles distant, the value of Kyrenia as a commercial harbour will be much enhanced. There are also important towns with a considerable population within eight or nine miles of Kyrenia on the west: Carava and Lapithas would offer markets for a great extension of trade, and Morphu would be brought within the same commercial circle. There is a peculiar advantage throughout the ports of Cyprus in the presence of stone quarries upon the spot where the material is required; this is specially marked at Kyrenia, where the solid rock, with its tombs, cave-dwellings, and ancient quarries, is on the actual borders of the sea, within a few yards of the existing harbour. There would be no great difficulty in converting these quarries into a dock, should a demand for stone be sufficient to repay the outlay for cutting the supply, according to the example already exhibited and left to us by the ancients.

The quarries of Kyrenia form the chief curiosity of the locality. The rock is the sedimentary limestone mixed with a proportion of sand that is the characteristic geological feature around the coast of Cyprus; but in these quarries the stone is perfectly solid and free from fissures, which enables the mason to obtain blocks of any size. From prehistoric times the rock of Kyrenia, which rises about forty feet above the sea-level, has been worked out upon the most careful method; every block has been cut from the parent mass by measurement, and no broken edges have been permitted to destroy the symmetry of the adjoining stone. The work was commenced from the top, or surface of the rock, and a smooth cliff face has been produced as the first operation; upon completion the surface has been lined out parallel with the perpendicular face, and the blocks have been carefully chiselled and removed by wedges driven horizontally from beneath. In this manner the rock has been worked until it resembled a flight of steps, which remain in many places perfect to the present hour. The entire fortress and town have been constructed from these quarries, and there can be no doubt that when Kyrenia was originally founded by the Dorian colonists under Cepheus and Praxander the stones were obtained from the existing site. There is a considerable difference in the quality of the rock, which has been remarked by the original builders, as a passage has been cut through the first cliff face nearest to the town, and the desired level for wheeled conveyances having been obtained, the workmen have discovered a superior stone as they proceeded into the bowels of the quarry. They have accordingly neglected much of the nearer portion, and have excavated a large square, always pushing forward towards the west, which is now terminated by a worked perpendicular face and a series of steps incomplete, precisely as it remained when the last chisel relinquished the labour.

This quality of rock in all parts of Cyprus is cavernous, and the natural caves have suggested to the ancients an artificial extension both for dwellings and for cemeteries. The rock is easily worked by the mason's pick, and near the town I observed an old fort-ditch which had been originally excavated for the double object of quarrying building stone at the same time that it served the purpose of defence. There would be no great difficulty in connecting the ancient quarry with the harbour by cutting a canal through the soft rock and extending the depth of the ancient excavations. It is well known to all quarrymen that the stone should be placed in a building according to the position in which it lay when forming the original rock. Within the fortress of Kyrenia there are many examples of neglect, where the masons have either inverted or placed the stones sideways, in which case the action of the weather has completely honey-combed and reduced the material to an appearance of decayed coral. I observed instances of similar neglect with the same results in portions of the fortress of Famagousta.

The tombs are easily distinguished from the cave-dwellings with which the rocks are perforated, as they are merely chambers of a few feet square sufficient for the reception of a limited number of bodies; the dwellings have been carefully chiselled, and arranged with a bench cut from the solid rock around the apartment.

The remains of ancient fortifications, including ruined towers and ditches, prove that in former times Kyrenia was of far greater extent than would be implied by its present small proportions. In like manner with Famagousta this powerful fort has been considered as a position to be occupied exclusively by Turks. The population of the town is now about 600, but the Greek element is increasing since the British Convention ensured their protection.

Our camp was daily visited by the women of both Turks and Cypriotes, who came to indulge their curiosity, and my wife had some difficulty in receiving the increasing circle of acquaintance. The want of a female interpreter was at first acutely felt, as the conversation was much restricted when Georgi was the only medium. After a few days this shyness on the part of the Turkish ladies wore off, and Georgi, who was a good, painstaking young fellow, became a favourite; some of these ladies were exceedingly gracious, and took off their veils when in the tent with Lady Baker and myself, and conversed upon various subjects with much intelligence. A few were decidedly pretty; all were studiously clean and well dressed, and they formed a marked contrast in appearance and general style to the Cypriote women; the breed was superior, their hands were delicate and well cared for, but disfigured by the prevalent habit of staining the nails and palms with henna. This plant is called shenna by all Turks and Cypriotes, and it is imported from Syria for the purpose of dyeing the hair, and also the feet and hands of Turkish women. It is not a production of Cyprus, as has been erroneously stated by some authors; I made particular inquiries in all portions of the island, and of all classes, upon this subject. The henna, or shenna, is only to be met with in some few gardens, where it is cultivated as an ornamental shrub, in the same manner that the arbutus may be seen in the shrubberies of England. The Turkish women are very particular in dyeing their hair, and use various preparations. The shenna produces a glossy red, which some years ago was the fashionable tinge in England. There is also a small seed of a plant which is prepared by roasting until burnt, like coffee, and then reducing to powder, which is formed into a paste with oil; this is a well-known dye, which turns the hair into a deep black. There was a sudden rush for information when the British occupation of Cyprus was announced to the startled public, and books were rather hurriedly put together, compiled from various authorities, which, although yielding valuable information upon many points, unfortunately perpetuated errors by reproducing erroneous statements. The asserted existence of henna as "an indigenous shrub which originated the name of Cyprus," is an instance of such mistakes, similar to the descriptions of "HEATH-covered surface," when no such plant exists upon the island.

The longer I remained in the neighbourhood of Kyrenia the deeper was my regret that the arrivals of strangers should take place in the southern ports, instead of receiving their first impressions of Cyprus by an introduction to this lovely coast. I was never afloat on the northern side, but the view must be strikingly impressive, as the trees, ever green almost to the water's edge, shadow the rocky coves, and clothe the surface to the base of the mountains, whilst, at a short distance from the land these must appear as though rising abruptly from the sea. The castles upon the extreme summits form unmistakable landmarks, resembling sentries on either side the fort and harbour of Kyrenia.

On 6th April the general rendezvous was the monastery of Bellapais, three and a half miles distant from Kyrenia, in response to the invitation of Major McCalmont, 7th Hussars, on the staff of Sir Garnet Wolseley, who had taken immense trouble for the gratification of his guests by sending tents, baggage, and sleeping accommodation for two nights, in addition to every kind of necessary refreshments.

The route from Kyrenia lay through a country of the brightest shades of green, parallel with the sea, about a mile and a half distant, towards which a succession of deep ravines, which formed river-beds in the rainy season, drained from the mountains at right angles with the path. This side of the Carpas range formed a strong contrast with the parched southern slopes, as every garden and farm was irrigated by water conducted from the mountains in artificial channels, which would otherwise have been absorbed and lost in the wide and stony stream-beds if left to its natural course. We passed through sombre groves of very ancient olives of immense girth; then through villages concealed among a luxuriant growth of fruit-trees, the almonds being already large, and eaten eagerly by the inhabitants, although still unripe. The oranges in heavy crops weighed down the dark green branches, the deep yellow fruit contrasting brightly with the foliage, and the fields of barley that had benefited by artificial irrigation looked like green carpets spread between the neighbouring villages and gardens. Having crossed several deep and wide stream-beds, in one of which the water still trickled in a clear but narrow channel, we commenced a steep ascent among scattered but numerous caroub-trees, which gave a park-like appearance to the country, and upon gaining an eminence we came suddenly upon the view of Bellapais. The monastery was not more than 600 yards distant, but a deep hollow intervened between the opposing heights, which necessitated a circuit of more than a mile before we could reach the village. It would be impossible to select a more beautiful position for a house than the flat summit of the height upon which we stood. The valley at our feet nursed a rippling stream deep in the bottom of a precipitous gorge, the rough sides clothed with myrtles, which now occupied basket-makers who were completing their work upon the spot where they cut their wands of this tough wood in lieu of willow. The fine old Gothic building stood before us on the opposite height upon the extreme edge, surrounded by trees of various kinds, including tall poplars which unfortunately were not yet in leaf. This grand old pile was an impressive contrast to the scene around; there were neat villages with flat-topped roofs of clay, down in the vale far beneath, with the intense blue sea washing the rocky shore: there was also the adjoining village at the rear, occupying the same plateau as the monastery, with its rich gardens and groves of orange-trees; the ruined walls and towers of Buffavento upon the highest crags dominated our position by more than 2,500 feet, and the castle of St. Hilarion stood upon a still higher elevation on the western sky-line behind Kyrenia. There was nothing modern that appeared compatible with the style and grandeur of Bellapais. When this monastery was erected, Cyprus must have been a flourishing and populous country worthy of such architecture, but the present surroundings, although harmonising in colouring, and in a quiet passiveness of scene, in no way suggested a connection with a past that gave birth either to the Gothic building or to the important castles of Buffavento and St. Hilarion.

Having skirted the amphitheatre upon the monastery level, we passed through an orange-garden and entered the courtyard. The church occupies the right side, and the wall is fronted by cloisters which, supported upon arches, form a quadrangle. A stone staircase ascends from the cloisters to the refectory upon the left; this is in considerable ruin, but must originally have formed an imposing hall. Upon the flat roof of the cloisters, which is perfect for three sides of the quadrangle, a magnificent view is obtained through the fine old Gothic open window, which looks down sheer to the great depth below, and commands the entire country seaward. Descending into the courtyard to the northern cloister we pass two large sarcophagi of white marble. One of these has been elaborately worked in rich garlands of flowers and very grand bulls' heads, together with nude figures, all of which have been much damaged. These sarcophagi have been used as cisterns for containing water, as the tap is still visible. Immediately opposite is the entrance to the great hall, which is in good repair, as a new cement floor was added by the British authorities, with the intention of converting it into a temporary hospital when the troops were suffering from fever at Kyrenia.

This hall is 102 feet long and 33 feet wide, with a height of upwards of 30 feet. Nothing can exceed the beauty of the view from the windows of this grand entrance, and in the deep recesses we found Sir Garnet and Lady Wolseley enjoying the scene, while our host, Major McCalmont, welcomed his guests in this splendid vestige of the Knights Templars. The abbey, which belonged to the Latin Church, was built during the Lusignan dynasty by Hugh III. in about 1280 A.D. and was destroyed by the Turks. The castle of Buffavento, upon the summit of the mountain, 3240 feet above the sea, is of far more ancient date, and is interesting from the fact of its having during the conquest by Richard Coeur de Lion succumbed to the assault conducted in person by that king. The castle of Kyrenia had already fallen, and the wife, daughter, and treasures of Isaac Comnenus fell into the hands of the victorious English, led by the gallant Guy de Lusignan in the absence of Richard I., who was at that time incapacitated through illness, which detained him at Lefkosia. This fortification was probably the original defence of the town, and could have had no relation to the present work, which is of a far later date, and was constructed specially for an armament of heavy guns.

Captain Savile (101st Royal Irish), in his admirable compilation from all the principal works that have been written upon Cyprus, states:—

"Richard was now able to turn his thoughts to his neglected crusade; he returned to Limasol, and sent Isaac's daughter, with his own wife and sister, on before him to St. Jean d'Acre. On 5th June, 1191, Richard himself sailed from Cyprus, leaving the island in charge of Richard de Canville and Robert de Turnham, with injunctions to keep the army in Syria well provided with provisions.

"Isaac was placed in silver fetters and taken with King Richard to Syria, where he was handed over to the Hospitallers, since Knights of Rhodes, for safe custody, and was by them confined in the Castle of Margat, near Tripoli, where he died shortly afterwards.

"Several insurrections subsequently occurred in Cyprus, but were all suppressed by the decisive and prompt action of Robert de Turnham.

"The Templars now entered into negotiations with King Richard for the purchase of Cyprus, and they eventually obtained it from him for the sum of 100,000 Saracenic golden besants; it was further arranged that 40,000 golden besants should be paid at once, and the remainder as soon as it could be derived from the revenues of the island."

According to a high authority, De Mas Latrie (see L'Histoire de l'Ile de Chypre, vol. ii. p. 7), the above sum would now represent about 304,000 pounds sterling.

Richard had at once appreciated the importance of Cyprus as a base of operations that would secure a supply of provisions within two days' sail of his salient point of attack, and to which he could retreat in the event of failure. The geographical position remains the same, but unfortunately Cyprus is no longer capable of furnishing supplies for a large army, and the hay necessary for the cavalry was obliged to be imported at great cost immediately upon the British occupation in 1878.

The Templars quickly became disgusted with their bargain, and after only ten months' rule, during which the island was in a state of chronic revolt, they endeavoured to persuade King Richard to cancel the agreement of purchase.

Captain Savile continues:—

"Richard expressed his willingness to take over the island, but refused to return the 40,000 besants. King Guy de Lusignan now came forward, and having arranged with the Templars that in the event of his being made king of Cyprus he would refund to them what they had paid, went to Richard and asked him for the island as compensation for the loss of the crown of Jerusalem, engaging also to pay the same sum that the Templars had agreed to. This offer was accepted, and Guy intrusted to his Chancellor, Pierre d'Engoulesme, Bishop of Tripoli, the task of raising the money. The sum of 60,000 besants was collected by means of loans from the citizens of Tripoli and from the Genoese, and was paid by Guy to Richard, who asked for the remaining 40,000 besants; but Guy then pleaded poverty, and it is stated that the English king did not urge this claim further."

Guy de Lusignan at once took possession of the island (May 1192), but it appears, according to De Mas Latrie, that he never actually assumed the title of King of Cyprus. His reign was but short, lasting only one year and eleven months; but from all accounts he governed wisely, and restored order and tranquillity in the island. One of his first measures was the establishment of a feudal system, and he endowed with portions of land, according to rank, about 300 knights and 200 esquires, who formed the nucleus of the nobility and privileged bodies in Cyprus.

The Lusignan dynasty thus commenced in 1192, continued until 1489, and terminated with Queen Catherine Cornaro, when Cyprus was annexed by the Venetian Republic.

I did not ascend to the castle of Buffavento, which towered above the monastery about two miles distant, but I observed with the telescope that every inch of ground that could be cultivated was green with barley, even to extreme heights which appeared inaccessible. Small terraces had been arranged by heaping up stones among the numerous declivities to save the soil from falling below, and to catch the wash that might be added by some passing shower. This was the result of enormous labour, far disproportioned to the value of the crops; yet in the face of this perilous industry there are persons who declare that the Cypriotes are an idle race, and that "land exists in superabundant acreage sufficient for double the amount of population." If this theory is correct the Cypriotes, who climb to these dizzy heights to build some walls among the precipices that will act as an agricultural trap to catch some few square yards of soil, must be simply madmen; but I have not found them wanting either in brains or industry when working independently for their own profit; where they are positively wanting, is in ready money. All strangers who take an interest in agriculture must be struck with the extraordinary pains taken by the natives to save the soil from water-wash, to which I have already alluded; but this peculiarity is the more striking when we observe the dangerous positions to which they have been driven by a desire to increase their lands.

In a ride from our camp to St. Hilarion I carefully remarked throughout the extremely rugged nature of the route that no plot, however minute, had been neglected. In one rocky nook buried among the cliffs was a little cottage, with hanging gardens all terraced by exceedingly high walls, yet affording the smallest superficial area for cultivation. This is discernible with a powerful telescope from the base of the mountains, although to the naked eye it appears like a cluster of barren rocks, tinged with the green of fruit-trees growing from the clefts. If such labour had been expended to produce a picturesque effect the object might be appreciated, but that it should be profitable is beyond belief.

The summit of St. Hilarion is 3340 feet above the sea, from which, in a direct line, it is not three miles distant. The cliffs are quite perpendicular in some places for several hundred feet, and the greatest care has been taken to perch the towers and walls upon the extreme verge. Although from the base of the mountains at Kyrenia the castle appears to occupy an impregnable position, it can be easily approached by one of those rough paths in the rear which can be scrambled over by the Cyprian mules. I am afraid that my willing animal grumbled somewhat at my weight, as it was obliged to halt for breath seven or eight times before we reached a secluded little dell among the mountain tops, from which the path ascended by steep zigzags, directly through the entrance of the old fortification. This narrow dell, hidden among the surrounding crags about 2800 feet above the sea, was entirely cropped with barley, and the people who owned the plot resided in a cave that had been arranged for a habitation for themselves and animals.

On the ridge before we descended into this vale the view was magnificent, as two lofty crags formed a natural frame for the picture within. Between these rugged peaks of silvery grey limestone, tinted by ferruginous rocks with various shades of red and brown, we looked down a precipice beneath our feet upon the blue sea, the snow-capped mountains of Caramania in the distance, and the rich border of our own shores covered with green trees, gardens, fields, and clustering villages: in the centre of which was the fort and harbour of Kyrenia. I could just distinguish our white tents among the caroub-trees far beneath. To complete this superb landscape there should have been a few sails upon the sea; but all was blue and barren, without signs of life. The castle of St. Hilarion stood before us on the left as we faced the sea, and the towers occupied the peaks within less than a quarter of a mile of our position. Continuing along the narrow vale, a mountain-top upon our left-hand, which sloped to the path upon which we rode, appeared slightly higher than the extreme summit of the castle peak; the sides of this steep slope were covered with dwarf cypress and occasional young pines, and it was clear that St. Hilarion would be commanded by a battery upon these heights, or even by the fire of modern rifles. Ascending the zigzag path among blocks of fallen stone, which had rolled from the partially dismantled walls, we entered the gateway, and at once perceived the great extent of the old fortress. The entire mountain-top is encircled by a high wall, flanked at intervals by towers, and crenellated for archers or cross-bowmen. Although the opposite mountain would by artillery fire completely command the inner and lower portion of the works, which we had now entered, the distance would have been far beyond the range of catapults or arrows at the time when the defences were erected. The error appeared to have been in the great area of the fortifications, which would have necessitated a garrison of at least 4000 men, entailing a large supply of provisions and of water. There was no trace of a well throughout the works, but I observed the remains of water-pipes in numerous directions, which appeared to have conducted the rainfall into reservoirs. The nearest water was by the caves, occupied by the peasants in the glen, about a quarter of a mile distant. Nothing would have been easier than an investment, which would sooner or later have reduced the garrison to starvation, as the precipices upon the north, west, and east, which rendered the position impregnable from those directions, at the same time prevented an exit, and effectually barred all egress either for sorties or escape. The first court upon entering the gateway comprised several acres, but there was no level ground, and the natural slope of the mountain was inclosed by walls and parapets upon all sides, until at convenient places the earth had been scarped out for the erection of buildings, which had either been barracks or magazines. These were all of stone and hard cement, and were now used as stables for various animals by the few peasants of this wild neighbourhood. Passing through galleries, from which an occasional window showed a deep chasm of many hundred feet beneath, and continuing until we entered a tower which terminated the passage upon a perpendicular peak that enfiladed the outer line of defence, and at the same time from its great height commanded the main approach, we descended a rude flight of steps, and presently entered a grand hall supported upon numerous arches which appeared to connect two peaks of the mountain. Descending from this solid work, we entered upon a plot of grass which sloped towards a precipice of rock that completely closed this side of the fortress. Several cypress-trees grew among the stones, which assisted us in ascending from this steep and dangerous slope, until by a passage which led into a quadrangular courtyard of grass we emerged into an imposing portion of the ruin which commanded the west face. This was a wall built upon the extreme edge of a precipice, which looked down a giddy depth, and afforded a lovely view lengthways of the narrow strip of caroub-forest and verdure along the mountain range to the margin of the sea. The guide knew every inch of these labyrinth-like works, and upon my expressing a desire to ascend to the earth on the summit, he commenced a scramble over loose stones, large rocks, and occasional slippery grass, holding on to the now numerous dwarf-cypress, until we reached a narrow saddle of the peak, over which a man could sit astride and look down to the right and left into the depth below. It was necessary to cross this saddle for about ten or twelve feet to gain the wider pathway formed by the natural rock, which was terminated after a few yards by the castle tower. This, as may be imagined, was built upon the verge, and formed an artificial peak to the precipices upon all sides. The view was superb, as it commanded a panorama of mountains, valleys, the sea, precipices, and all that could make a perfect landscape.

Sitting down to rest upon the solid rock upon the left of this castle entrance, I observed that it was composed of white marble. The exterior had a greyish coating from the action of the weather, but this could be scraped off with a knife, which exposed the white marble beneath. I remarked that the cement of the masonry was mixed with small fragments of the same material, and subsequently I discovered blocks of this substance in the immediate neighbourhood of Kyrenia.

There was a peculiarity in the walls and towers of the fortress of St. Hilarion: the stones were of such small dimensions that few exceeded forty or fifty pounds in weight, except those which formed the principal halls or other buildings upon the secure plateaux within the outer works. The masons had apparently depended upon the extreme tenacity and hardness of their cement, which bound the mass into a solid block. Upon a close examination I discovered the reason. As the towers and many of the walls were built upon the extreme edge of various precipices, it would have been impossible to have erected a scaffolding on the outside, in the absence of which it would have been difficult to have raised heavy weights; the builders were therefore obliged to limit the size of stones to the power of individuals, who would be obliged to supply the material by the simple handing of single stones as the work proceeded. By this crude system the mason would stand upon his own wall and receive the stones as his work grew in height.

The origin and date of this interesting fortress are uncertain, but it is known that, like other eagle-nests upon this craggy range, it formed a place of refuge to some of the Latin kings of Cyprus. As in ancient times the port of Kyrenia had been an object of frequent attacks, the lofty fortresses of St. Hilarion and Buffavento offered immediate asylums in the event of a retreat from the invaded harbour. In close proximity to the sea these elevated posts commanded an extended view, and the approach of an enemy could be discerned at a distance that would afford ample warning for preparing a defence. Both St. Hilarion and other mountain strongholds upon this range were dismantled by the Venetian Admiral Prioli about A.D. 1490, shortly after the annexation of the island by Venice.

The return ride down the mountain side was, if possible, more beautiful than the ascent, as the lights and shadows were rendered acute by dark but quickly passing clouds; occasional light mists curled round the highest peaks like veils of gauze and then dissolved in the clear air. These atmospherical changes intensified the colouring and brought out the varying tints of grey and purple rocks into a strange prominence, while every wild flower appeared to thrust itself suddenly into observation: the purple cistus seemed magnified to the size of roses, and a bright gleam of gold from the masses of prickly bloom now in fullest blaze mingled with the general green surface of mastic and arbutus. As we neared the base of the mountains the dark green rounded tops of a forest of caroub-trees were occasionally broken by the white bloom of sweet-scented hawthorns; and to the delight of my ear, the first notes of the cuckoo that I had heard in Cyprus recalled the spring of England! It is a curious arrangement of our nervous system, that a sound so simple in itself should invest the scene with a tenfold pleasure, and should conjure up uncalled-for recollections of places, friends, and a life of years long past: but so it was; and for the moment I longed to be at home. . . .

The mules and camels were ready to start on the 10th April. I had engaged a well-known fine-looking muleteer named Katarjii Iiani, who had contracted, for twenty-nine shillings a day, to supply the riding mules and baggage animals sufficient for our party from Kyrenia to any portion of the island I might wish to visit. My plan was arranged, to include a circuit of the north and west to Baffo; thence to Limasol; by which time the hot weather would be drawing near, and we should seek a settlement as near the clouds as possible upon Troodos; the snow was still deep upon the northern summit of this mountain, which formed the prominent object in the range.

Our new muleteer Iiani was about six feet two inches high, and not being sufficiently tall, he added nearly three inches more by enormous heels to a pair of well-fitting high boots; these, fastened below the knee, just showed sufficient clean grey stocking to prove that he possessed such hose; which are luxuries seldom indulged in by the peasantry. The boots were carefully blackened and polished, and were armed with long spurs. His trousers were the usual roomy pattern, containing sufficient stuff to clothe a small family of English children; above these dark-blue bags he wore a kind of Jersey frock of thick silk fitting tight to his figure; the junction between this purple-striped garment and his waistband was concealed in the many windings of a long shawl which passed several times round his centre; in this he wore a German-silver-handled knife or dagger of pure Birmingham or Sheffield origin. His figure was very perfect, and he was as thoroughly "set-up" as though he had been in the hands of a drill-sergeant from his cradle. He carried a long stick like the shaft of a lance, with which he could poke a refractory mule, but which he always used when mounting by resting one end upon the ground, and with the left hand upon the saddle he ascended with the ease of a spiritualist "floating in the air." Iiani was very polite to ladies, and he knew their ways. He seldom advanced without an offering of some lovely flower or a small sprig of sweetly-scented herb, which he invariably presented with a graceful bow and a smile intended to represent a combination of humility, amiability, gentility, and as many other "ilitys" as could be squeezed into his expressive features. It is hardly necessary after this description to say that Iiani was a very tall humbug, pleasant in manner when he had his own way. He was lazy to such a degree that he invariably fell asleep upon his mule after smoking innumerable cigarettes. In these cases his long body swayed to the right and left, and occasionally nodded forward to an extent that sometimes awoke him with the jerk; after which spasmodic return of consciousness an immediate relapse took place, and he fell asleep again. As he rode directly before me, as guide, this chronic somnolency was most annoying, and I had to drive his mule into a faster walk by poking its hind-quarters with my stick. The animal would then break into a sudden trot, which would awaken the rider to the fact that he had been dreaming; upon which he burst into some peculiar song that was intended to prove that he was wide awake; but after a few bars the ditty ceased; the head once more nodded and swung from side to side; the mule relaxed its pace . . . Iiani was asleep again!

In another sense he was very wide-awake. He had represented to me that he was the proprietor of the seven camels and five mules, but I quickly discovered that he was only the owner of a completely worn-out old camel and four mules: he had hired the other animals at a considerably lower rate than I had agreed to pay him, therefore I should have the difficulty of several discontented owners instead of one. However, we had started before this fact was explained by my factotum Christo.

The route lay along the sea-shore through a forest of caroub-trees and olives, occasionally varied by patches of cereals. Upon our right to the sea-margin were tolerable crops of barley, most of which had been irrigated by water conducted from the hills. At about four miles distance from Kyrenia the caroubs and olives of all growths exhibited the effects of north-easterly gales, as they inclined to south-west; and those nearest to the sea, which acted as screens, and received the full unbroken force of the wind, were seriously damaged. As we proceeded towards Lapithus the trees became widely scattered, the slopes were steeper, and the strip of level ground to the sea-margin narrowed to only half a mile. The mountains rose rapidly from this base, and an extra deep tinge of green showed the effect of streams, which in this happy spot of Cyprus are perennial. Many little villages were dotted about the mountain sides with groves of olives and other fruit-trees, which appeared to be in danger from the impending cliffs, huge masses having fallen and rolled to various distances at the bottom. The country reminded me of the prettiest portions of South Italy.

At eight miles from Kyrenia we arrived at the thriving town of Karava, built upon the mountain slope and watered by powerful streams diverted into artificial channels from the parent bed. The large population of this neighbourhood is principally engaged in the production of silk, for which the locality has long been famous. Every garden that surrounded the houses was rich in mulberry-trees, together with oranges and lemons and the luxuriant foliage of the almond. We rode along steep paved lanes within the town, through which the water was rushing in refreshing streams, until we at length reached the precipitous edge of the ravine, which in the rainy season becomes an important torrent. Although some flour-mills are worked, I observed a terrible waste of water-power, which might be turned to account for machinery. I heard the usual excuse for this neglect, "The people have no money!"

We had ridden fast, and were far ahead of the baggage animals; we accordingly halted to lunch beneath a shady caroub-tree near the edge of the ravine, about fifty feet below. A French game-bag, with net and numerous pockets, always contained our meals, which consisted of a cold fowl, some eggs boiled hard, and a loaf of native brown bread or biscuits. This was luncheon and breakfast, as we never indulged in more than two meals a day, merely taking a cup of cafe au lait, or cocoa, in the early morning, and our lunch or breakfast at any hour that travelling made convenient. This depended upon the attraction of some pretty spot or wide-spreading tree that suggested a halt.

We now remounted and rode to Lapithus, a mile and a half distant, and, avoiding the town, selected a camping-place on the flat ground within 300 yards of the sea.

There was little difference between Lapithus and Karava. A succession of mountain streams nourished the higher grounds, and having fertilised the gardens and plots of cereals, were subsequently led into the fields below.

Lapithus has been celebrated from an ancient date in like manner with Kythrea, owing to the unfailing supply of water from its mountain-springs, and, under the Ptolemies, B.C. 295, it became one of the four provinces into which Cyprus was divided. Lapithus, north; Amathus, south; Salamis, east; Paphos (now Baffo), west.

On the following morning our muleteer Iiani, having indulged in cigarettes and sleep, was not ready to start at the proper hour, neither were the animals forth-coming. We accordingly started on foot and threaded our way through paved lanes, which twisted and turned in various directions according to the positions of the houses and innumerable gardens. The people were very civil, and directed us in the right direction, although evidently surprised at our journeying on foot, which is most unusual even among the poorer classes. We walked for more than a mile through the town: the air was fresh and enjoyable, the thermometer was 53 degrees at 7 A.M. Streams of clear water gushed through the lanes in many places, which had created the flourishing aspect around. With such a picture of prosperity before us, due entirely to the presence of never-failing streams, it seemed incredible that the great central district of Messaria should be left to the chance of seasons when the means of artificial irrigation lie close beneath the surface.

Upon quitting Lapithus the country on the west was almost devoid of trees, and we walked for four miles and a half before we could procure a shade. At this distance we halted to await the mules beneath a clump of three caroub-trees close to the road side. Beneath this group were several masses of rock which appeared to have rolled at some remote period from the mountain side, as blocks of all sizes strewed the ground in every direction. I was at once struck with a beautiful block of dark green marble, and upon examining the neighbourhood I discovered many pieces of the same material, all of which had evidently fallen from the mountain's side, thus proving that the parent mass would be found in situ were the high cliffs investigated. The mules arrived, and I directed attention of Iiani to the fact, in order that I might procure a specimen by sending him to the spot upon a future occasion. We now entered upon groves of caroub-trees, and the ground was covered with blocks of limestone and of marbles. As we proceeded the shore became exceedingly narrow, as the base of the steep mountain sprang from within a short distance of the sea. The quantity and varieties of marbles increased, the dark green was present in large blocks, and several masses of bright rose-colour suggested that rare and valuable qualities might be profitably worked and exported, as great facilities existed in the presence of snug little coves within only a few yards, where in the summer months native vessels of twenty or thirty tons might anchor in security.

The country now became exceedingly wild and rugged. The sea was in many places exactly below us as we skirted the cliffs and occasionally crossed the beaches of narrow coves. The high mountain upon our immediate left was the western terminus of the Carpas range, and exhibited peculiar geological features, eruptive rocks having burst in some places through the limestone and created great disturbance. The route was exceedingly interesting and beautiful, rocks of every shade of colour were mingled with bright green foliage, the sea was an emerald green in the shallow coves, and dark blue within a few hundred paces of the shore, while a brisk breeze curled the waves and tipped their crests with a glistening white. The path at length turned to the left and led through a gap that rounded the mountain base, and formed the extreme end of the Jurassic limestone, which only exists in Cyprus in the peculiar wall-like Carpasian range running from west to east upon the northern coast.

We crossed a stream of water at the bottom of the gorge which winds through the narrow glen that terminates the range; and ascending upon the opposite side, we at once entered upon steep slopes composed of marls interspersed with an exceedingly bright rose-coloured marble in veins of about two feet thickness. This would probably develop considerable blocks if quarried to a greater depth.

Continuing for about two miles along the glen, which was cultivated with barley in all available localities, we several times crossed the stream in its winding course, and my dogs hunted the steep myrtle-covered banks in expectation of game; but nothing moved, and the croaking of numerous frogs was the only sign of life. The glen now widened to a valley about a mile and three-quarters in diameter, surrounded upon all sides by heights, and we commenced one of the steepest ascents in Cyprus, up the face of the slope about 1000 feet above the bottom. The zigzags were upon a surface of white marl, which during wet weather would become as slippery as soap, and be impassable for loaded animals. Many times our mules were forced to halt and rest, but they were good and sure-footed beasts, that could always be depended upon.

At length we gained the summit, which was a total change of scene. Instead of descending upon the other side, as I had expected, we had arrived at a plateau eight or nine miles in length from north to south, and an invisible distance from east to west. The soil was a rich reddish chocolate, forming a grateful contrast to the glaring white marls that we had just quitted, and which composed the steep hills that surrounded the lower basin. A growth of young pines and other evergreen shrubs ornamented the surface, and at about a quarter of a mile from the summit of the pass by which we had arrived we halted at a well of pure water among a small grove of olive-trees. Although we were at least 1000 feet above the valley, the water was only ten feet from the coping-stone by measurement. There could be little doubt that the perennial stream in the deep glen was the result of the drainage of this extensive table-land, corresponding with similar heights upon the other side.

Having breakfasted by the well of deliciously cold water, we remounted, and continued our route along the extensive table-land. This was cultivated in many places, but as we advanced for two or three miles the country became exceedingly wild, and we entered a wood of Pinus maritima, composed of young trees of several years' growth, and older stems that had been mutilated in the disgraceful manner that characterises all Cyprian forests. There was not one perfect tree above eight years' growth; but every stem had been cut off about six feet from the top for the sake of the straight pole. Trees of fifteen years or more had been mercilessly hacked for the small amount of turpentine that such trunks would produce, and the bark had been ripped off for tanning. Great quantities of mastic bushes covered the surface between the pines, and even these exhibited the continual attacks of the woodcutter's grubbing-axe, which had torn up the roots, in addition to the stems, for the requirements of the lime-burner. The red soil is so propitious to the growth of pines that, in spite of the unremitting destruction, the ground was covered with young plants, self-sown from the fallen cones. If these young forests were protected for twelve or fourteen years, the surface would again be restored to the original woodland that once ornamented this portion of the island. Under the present conditions of Cyprus all wholesome laws and enactments are practically ridiculed by the inhabitants, as there are no foresters or keepers to enforce the orders of the government. A governor may sit upon the top of Olympus and issue wise decrees like Jupiter, but unfortunately he does not possess the thunderbolts, as the country is so poor that it cannot afford to pay the salaries necessary for the support of foresters and the officers required for this special department. I myself met droves of donkeys and mules loaded with wood and accompanied by their owners with their destructive axes, all wending their way through the forest to the town of Morphu, which is thus supplied with fuel for baking, cooking, lime- burning, and all other purposes.

It is impossible to feel amiable when passing through these desolating scenes, where nature, originally so beautiful, has been defaced, and the people, instead of deriving pleasure from natural beauties, are obtuse to all the surroundings, which, according to educated taste, would ensure appreciation. I felt inclined to upset the donkeys, capture their proprietors, and . . . I could not have hung them upon the trees that they had defaced, for no bough had been left that would have supported their weight . . . and there was no rope.

While these vindictive and statesman-likethoughts boiled within me, the naturally courteous people made their graceful salaams as we passed, and studiously conducted their heavily-laden donkeys out of the path to make way for our advance, that otherwise would have been effectually choked by the throng of bush-and-faggot-laden animals, which looked like "Birnam-wood marching to Dunsinane." In my heart I immediately forgave the poor people; I knew that the man with the axe who marched behind was as ignorant, and not so strong, as his donkey who carried the load. They had been both subjects of a bad government, and it was not their fault that they were despoilers. You might as well blame the wind for the destruction of venerable trees; or the locusts for devouring the crops; they were ungoverned, and unfortunately the instinct of uncivilised man is to destroy. I shall say more upon this important subject when we arrive among the last remaining forests of the Troodos mountains.

We rode onwards, always through the same wilderness of old tree-stems hacked, and young trees that would be hacked; at length we saw on a cleared space in the distance what I imagined to be a long brown rock lying upon the surface; but upon riding out of the path to examine this object I found it was a splendid trunk of a pine-tree more that two feet in diameter. Why this had been spared for so many years I cannot say, but its size suggested reflections upon the original forests that must have covered the surface and have ornamented the once beautiful island of Cyprus; now denuded, and shorn of every natural attraction.

I again became angry; visions of the past primaeval forests appeared before me, all of which had been destroyed: and as formerly we hung a man in England for cutting an oak sapling, I thought that the same cure for timber-destroying propensities might save the few remaining forests in this island. While indulging in this strain of unphilanthropic thought we overtook another throng of wood-laden donkeys and their proprietors: again they smiled, courteously salaamed, and vacated the path for us, little knowing what my inward thoughts had been. Of course I smiled, salaamed as courteously in return, and forgave them at once; and we proceeded on our way condemning Turkish rule, the impecuniosity of our own government, the miserable conditions of our present occupation, which rendered Cyprus neither fish, flesh, nor fowl, and thus by degrees I lashed myself into the worst possible frame of mind, until . . . we overtook another throng of polite donkeys and their proprietors, who salaamed and got out of our way. Upon suddenly emerging from the forest upon the edge of a steep slope, we looked down upon the barren sand-coloured plain of Messaria. Our guide Iiani, who had been asleep and awake for at least eight miles, suddenly burst out into a ditty, and explained that a village in the plain below was Morphu, the home of his wife and family.

Even from this elevated point of view Morphu looked a long way off. The sleepy Iiani was sufficiently wide awake to steer for his wife, and we had made a long march already. I doubted the possibility of the loaded camels ascending the steep slope, which had severely tried our mules, and I felt sure that liani's old camel would either knock up or tumble down with his load, should he attempt the ascent. It was of no use to reflect, and as Morphu lay before us in the now barren and sun-smitten plain, we touched our animals with the spur and pressed on. Descending for some miles, we passed a garden of olives, that must have been upwards of a thousand years old, upon our right; and still inclining downwards, through ground cultivated with cereals completely withered by the drought, we at length arrived at the broad but perfectly dry bed of the river. Crossing this, we steered for a grove of ancient olive-trees, which I at once selected for a camping-place, on the outskirts of the town. We were now twenty-three miles from Lapithus, and I felt sure that our baggage animals would not arrive till nightfall.

As we sat beneath one of these grand old olive-trees alone, Iiani having taken his mules to his home, and probably at the same time having advertised our arrival, throngs of women and children approached to salaam and to stare. I always travelled with binocular glasses slung across my back, and these were admirable stare-repellers; it was only necessary to direct them upon the curious crowd, and the most prominent individuals acknowledged their power by first looking shy and conscious, and then confusedly laughing and retreating to the rear.

We had arrived at 2.20 P.M., and we waited beneath the olive-trees until 8 P.M., when the advance camels at length came in after dark. It was 9.30 before the tents were pitched and the camp arranged. The great delay had been occasioned by Iiani's old camel, which had, as I had expected, rolled down the steep bill with its load, and having nearly killed itself, had mortally wounded the sacred copper kettle, which every traveller knows is one of his Penates, or household gods, to which he clings with reverence and affection. This beautiful object had lost its plump and well-rounded figure, and had been crushed into a museum-shaped antiquity that would have puzzled the most experienced archaeologist. Metal water-jugs upon which the camel had rolled had been reduced to the shape of soup-plates, and a general destruction of indispensable utensils had inflicted a loss more than equal to the value of Iiani's animal.

The following morning (12th April) exhibited the extraordinary change of climate between the northern and southern sides of the Carpas mountain-range. The average temperature of the week had been at 7 A.M. 57.5 degrees F, 3 P.M. 66.5 degrees. At Morphu the thermometer at 7 A.M. showed 62 degrees, and at 3 P.M. 83 degrees! It was precisely the same on the following day.

It was a distressing contrast to the beautiful Kyrenia and the interesting north coast to have exchanged the green trees and rippling streams for the arid and desolate aspect of the Messaria. The town of Morphu has no special interest; like all others, it consists of houses constructed of sun-baked bricks of clay and broken straw, with flat-topped roofs of the same materials. There are fruitful gardens irrigated by water-wheels, and formerly the extremely rich sandy loam of the valley produced madder-roots of excellent quality, which added materially to the value of the land. This industry having been completely eclipsed by the alizarine dye, Morphu has to depend upon silk and cereals for its agricultural wealth. The population is composed almost entirely of Greeks. There is a monastery and a large school.

I rode to the bay, about four miles and a half distant, passing many villages, which, as we neared the sea, were in the midst of magnificent crops of barley and wheat, resulting from artificial irrigation by the water that percolates beneath the sandy bed of the dry river at a certain level, which has been led into numerous channels before it can reach the natural exit at its mouth. It must be exceedingly unhealthy, as, for several square miles upon the sea margin, the country is an expanse of marsh and bulrushes, abounding with snipe during the winter months. On 13th April I walked over the greater portion of this locality with my three spaniels, but the snipe had departed, and we did not move a bird.

On the right side of Morphu Bay to the east, by Kormachiti, there are extensive sand-dunes, forming deep drifts, which extend for several miles inland at the foot of the hill-range that we had descended. These exhibit the prevailing wind (north). Many people upon observing sand-dunes attribute the most distant limit of the sand to the extreme violence of the wind; but this is not the case. It is the steady prevalence of moderately strong winds that causes the extension of sand-drifts. The wind of to-day deposits the sand at a certain distance from the shore. The wind to-morrow starts the accumulated sand from that depot to form a new deposit about equidistant; and thus by slow degrees the dunes are formed by a succession of mounds, conveyed onwards by an unchanging force; but the maximum power of a gale would be unable to carry thousands of tons of heavy sand to form a hill-range at the extreme distance from the original base of the material. At Hambantotte, in the southern district of Ceylon, there is an extraordinary example of this action, where during one monsoon a range of mounds is formed which might be termed hills; when the monsoon changes, these by degrees disappear, and, according to the alteration in the wind, a range of hills is formed in an exactly opposite direction.

I was glad to escape from Morphu; the wind from the dry plain was hot, and brought clouds of dust. We were surrounded by throngs of people during the day, many of whom were blind, including young children. The 13th April was the Greek Easter Sunday, and we could not start, as Iiani declared that the mules had run away during the night, and could not be found; we knew this was only an excuse for remaining at Morphu, and he at length confessed that the mules were caught, and we could start in the afternoon if I would allow him to wait until he should have received the sacrament together with his wife. Having thus brought the theological and the domestic guns to concentrate their fire upon me, I was obliged to yield, and liani appeared in such a jovial frame of mind in the afternoon, and smelt so strongly of spirits, that I suspected his devotions had been made at the raki-shop instead of the altar.

On 14th April we started, and were thankful to leave Morphu. The route lay across the plain westward, and in some parts we rode along the sea margin, eagerly hurrying our animals to turn the corner of the hills and escape from the hot and dreary plain. The breeze was northerly, and a heavy surf broke upon the coast, exhibiting the exposed position of Morphu Bay from north to west. On the eastern side the beach is sandy and the water deepens rapidly, affording good and safe anchorage near the shore; but should the wind change suddenly to west or north, the position would be dangerous. The bay is the most striking of all the numerous indentations on the shores of Cyprus. The bold points of Cape Kormachiti and Cape Kokkino form the chord of an arc twenty-one miles in length, from the centre of which the bay enters the land about eleven miles. It would be impossible to land from boats even during a moderate breeze from the west to north without considerable danger; but I can see no difficulty in arranging a floating breakwater that would afford shelter for small vessels and add materially to the importance of the roadstead. These are the necessary improvements which require an outlay, and unfortunately under the existing conditions of our occupation the revenue that would be available for public works is transferred to the treasury of Constantinople; thus the Turk still hampers progress, as he governs Cyprus in the uniform of the British official. We rounded the base of the hills, which rose rapidly from the shore, and crossed several small streams thickly fringed with tamarisk, that would be impassable during sudden storms of the rainy season. Several villages were distinguished by their bright green appearance among the hills, which denoted the existence of springs or rivulets, and as we proceeded we observed that all crops in the low ground had benefited by artificial irrigation.

After a ride of two hours and a half we arrived at Caravastasi, and halted in a very stony field at the back of the village, beneath an old caroub-tree that had grown thick and shady by the merciless hacking of its taller boughs, which had reduced it to a pollard. The village of Caravastasi consists only of eight or ten houses, but is rendered important by a Custom-house. It is situated on the most inland point of Morphu Bay, and is slightly sheltered on the west by a promontory, which forms a neat little cove for the protection of small vessels; but it is completely open due north. Nothing would be easier than to construct a small harbour, by extending a pier or breakwater from the end of the promontory in the required direction; and the present unimportant village would become only second in importance to Kyrenia.

The positions of ancient sea-port ruins attest the value that attached to certain geographical points in former days, and although the vessels of those periods may have been much inferior to ships of modern times, they were sufficiently large for the commerce of the country and for the capabilities of the harbours. The trade of Cyprus will always be carried by vessels from twenty to one hundred and fifty tons, and there should be no difficulty in providing shelter for ships of this small draught of water. The ruins of Soli, on the west of the present village of Caravastasi, prove that the Athenians, who founded the original city, were thoroughly cognizant of the value of a position which is the only spot upon the whole northern coast of Cyprus that will afford shelter or a landing-place, excepting the harbour of Kyrenia. In the early period of Cyprian history Soli represented one of the independent kingdoms when the island was divided into ten, Amathus, Cerinea (Kyrenia), Citium, Chytri, Curium, Lapithas, Marium, Nea-Paphos, Salamis, and Soli. The Phoenicians, from their own southern position, naturally selected the ports most convenient for their trade, and accordingly settled on the south coast of Cyprus, their chief towns being Amathus, Citium, and Paphos; these were important commercial ports at a time when Cyprus was in its zenith of prosperity, and were sufficient for the requirements of the period. If the British occupation is intended to be permanent it will be highly necessary to determine the classes of harbours that should be provided, as it would be a useless extravagance to expend large sums upon the construction of ports beyond the necessities of the trade. As I have already expressed an opinion that the commerce of Cyprus will be represented by vessels of moderate tonnage, the necessary protection for such vessels may be obtained at an equally moderate outlay, and both Soli and Kyrenia may be made available as safe harbours for all traders upon the northern coast. Famagousta would become the arsenal and dockyard for ships of war; Larnaca and Limasol would be safe roadsteads for all classes, and could easily be arranged to protect small trading-vessels; while Baffo would, like Kyrenia and Soli, be restored to its original position. All rudimentary harbour-works would be planned with a view to future extension, as might be rendered necessary by the development of trade.

Colonel White, 1st Royal Scots, who had been appointed chief commissioner of the Lefkosia district from his former similar position at Larnaca, arrived at Caravastasi upon the same day as ourselves. This very painstaking and energetic officer was exploring his district and investigating all the nooks and corners of the mountainous frontier which bounded his authority; he was accordingly assailed with complaints and lamentations concerning the endless water disputes among the villages; those of the lower ground declaring that the streams to which they were entitled by the rights of centuries had been diverted to other channels, that the Turkish authorities had been bribed by the opposing litigants; with the usual long list of grievances, the discussion of which I shall defer to a special chapter upon "Irrigation."

CHAPTER VIII.

ROUTE TO BAFFO.

Our tent was pitched upon rising ground, which formed the direct slope from the sea, a quarter of a mile distant, to the mountain-top about 1500 or 2000 feet above us; the insignificant village of Caravastasi was upon the sea-beach in our immediate front.

From our commanding position I had observed a peculiar mound with a cliff-face half a mile to the west, which exhibited the unusual colour of a bright lemon yellow in close conjunction with red of various shades. Upon crossing numerous fields of barley, which the reapers had just attacked (14th April), I descended a ravine at the foot of this peculiar formation, which I carefully examined.

Since we had crossed the plain of Morphu and quitted the compact limestone of the Carpas range we had entered upon an interesting geological change. Eruptive rocks had burst through the marls and calcareous sedimentary limestone of the coast and had produced very curious examples of metamorphous rocks, where the marls and limestone had been in immediate contact with the plutonic. The cliff above me was about fifty feet high, as I stood at its base within a shallow gorge that formed a brook during the rainy season.

The bottom upon which I stood was a mass of debris of bright colours, varying from pure white to different shades of yellow and red. This material appeared to have fallen recently, as the blocks did not exhibit the dull exterior that would have resulted from atmospherical exposure. I climbed up the steep face of crumbled matter with some difficulty, as the sharply inclined surface descended with me, emitting a peculiar metallic clink like masses of broken porcelain. On arrival at the top I remarked that only a few inches of vegetable mould covered a stratum of white marl about a foot thick, and this had been pierced in many places by the heat that had fused the marl and converted it into a clinker or sharply-edged white slag, mixed with an ochreous yellow and bright red. I had never met with anything like this singular example of igneous action upon marls. In the neighbourhood there were considerable masses of the same clinker-like material exhibiting a honeycombed appearance, that would have been well adapted for millstones. The natives informed me that all the millstones of the northern coast were imported from Athens. I had heard while at Kythrea that the stones for the very numerous mills of that neighbourhood were supplied from Alexandretta, and that none of native origin were employed. There can be no doubt that some of the specimens I examined of this material combined the requirements of extreme hardness, porosity, and sharpness of interior edges around the honeycombed cavities. I walked over the mountain, and quickly lost the marl in masses of plutonic rocks that had been upheaved and entirely occupied the surface. Although vast blocks lay heaped in the wildest confusion, they exhibited the peculiar characteristics of all Cyprian rocks (excepting the calcareous limestone) in their utter want of compactness. I have never seen in Cyprus any hard rock (except jurassic limestone), whether gneiss, syenite, or others, that would yield an unblemished stone to the mason's chisel of ten feet in length by a square of two feet. This peculiarity is not the result of decay, but the entire mass has been fractured by volcanic disturbance and by the rapid cooling of molten matter upheaved from beneath the sea.

Red jasper is abundant in this locality, and is generally found in small pieces embedded in the marls. I discovered a very compact specimen weighing about 200 lbs., which I left at a house in Caravastasi until I might have an opportunity of conveying it to Larnaca. Upon crossing the mountain I arrived at a charming valley among the hills at an elevation of about 1200 feet above the sea, at the narrow entrance of which, between the sides of the gorge, was a Turkish village. I was quickly observed, and being quite alone, with the exception of my dogs, a Turkish woman, to whom I made a salaam, ran into a neighbouring house and sent her husband with a chair, that I might sit beneath an almond-tree. A few Turks gathered round me and insisted with much politeness that I should enter the house of the owner of the chair. It was a rough dwelling, but I was kindly welcomed, and cheese, bread, and curds were quickly arranged before me, together with a gourd-shell of clear cold water, from the spring which issued from the rocks in the gorge about fifty feet below the house. To the disappointment of my host I was obliged to decline all his offerings, except a draught of cold water, as I had breakfasted before leaving the camp. The Turk now showed me his gun, which he explained was of little use, as he could not afford a game licence, but he offered to show me a spot where hares were abundant. The shooting-season was long since closed, therefore partridges and francolins were sacred, but I should have had no scruples in bagging a hare for a stew. My guide conducted me over very likely ground down into ravines with bush-covered sides, then upon the hill-tops, and among patches of cultivation where the hares had played sad havoc in nibbling the wheat and barley; but we found none. My dogs hunted every bush in vain, and the burning sun had dried out every vestige of scent. I believe the hares escape the sun by taking refuge beneath the rocks, otherwise we must have moved at least one or two. My guide was much disappointed, but as game was absent he hunted for wild asparagus, which grew in considerable quantities beneath the thick clumps of bushes upon the hill-sides. By the time that we arrived in camp he had collected sufficient for a good dish. This variety is not quite so thick as good cultivated asparagus, but it is superior in flavour, although slightly bitter.

We rode to Lefka, about three miles distant. This is one of those happy lands of Cyprus which is watered with unfailing streams from the Troodos range, that have enforced prosperity. The town is important, and is situated upon the sides of the hills, which form a valley, through which, in rainy weather, a river flows; at other seasons, like all Cyprian torrents, the bed is dry. The houses of Lefka are almost concealed by the luxuriant foliage of the gardens and orangeries. We rode through narrow lanes streaming with water, and shaded with the elm, ash, maple, and innumerable fruit-trees. Mills, turned by water, the masonry of the aqueducts being ornamented with the graceful maiden-hair ferns, enlivened the otherwise dull lanes by an exhibition of industry. The orange-trees and lemons were literally overweighted with fruit, which in some instances overpowered the foliage by a preponderance of yellow. Lefka supplies the whole western district with lemons, in addition to the market of the capital, Lefkosia. As usual, I observed that the fruit-trees were ridiculously crowded, thus preventing the admission of the necessary air and light. I forbear at present to describe the fruit, as none existed at this season, excepting oranges and lemons, and I wish to introduce my readers to every scene and object precisely as they met my eye in travelling through the country. The lemons are some of the best I have ever tasted, but the oranges are full of seeds, with thick skins, and although juicy and refreshing in this hot climate, they would be rejected in the English market.

A very cursory view of Lefka was sufficient to explain its agricultural importance, and to (for the hundredth time) awaken the reflection that most portions of the island might equal such exceptional prosperity, if special attention were bestowed upon the development of artificial irrigation.

On 16th April we left Caravastasi, and rode over almost the worst road, but one of the most picturesque in Cyprus. It was a succession of the steepest ups and downs through and over mountain spurs, to cut off the promontories which projected into the sea at right angles with our route. It seemed impossible that loaded animals should be able to traverse such steep and dangerous defiles, and I made up my mind that Iiani's ancient camel would terminate its career, together with that of our possessions upon its back, by rolling several hundred feet into the dark angle of some precipitous ravine. Even Iiani kept awake, and presently I heard a faint exclamation from behind, and upon turning round I discovered Lady Baker upon the ground, the saddle having twisted beneath her mule in descending a steep and rocky gulley; fortunately she fell upon the wall-side of the path, instead of upon the edge of the precipice; and she was unhurt.

Although the route was abominable it was most interesting. As the drainage of the mountains was at right angles, we crossed a succession of heights which afforded short glimpses of the sea some 600 feet beneath, with the perpendicular rock-bound coast below us, and then alternately descended into the depths of the intervening gullies. This peculiarity exhibited to perfection the geological formation. We had entered upon trap rocks and the greenstone, all of which showed traces of copper. Notwithstanding the wild and dangerous route, every available plot of ground was cultivated, although no villages were perceptible. The peasants carried their light ploughs upon donkeys from considerable distances, and with these exceedingly useful implements they ploughed inclines that would have been impossible to cultivate with any European implement except the hoe. At length we descended to the sea-beach, and marching through heavy sand for about a mile, we arrived at Pyrgos, our halting-place, twelve miles from Caravastasi.

This is one of the wildest portions of Cyprus. There is no village, but the position is simply marked by the presence of one building above the sea-beach, which has been a depot for the spars and poles of pine that have periodically been delivered from the mountains by the torrents, when heavy rains have swollen them sufficiently to enable them to force the timber towards the sea. As the mountains upon this portion of the coast descend in many places actually to the shore, while in no places are they more than half a mile distant, the rivulets are numerous, as there is no time, or area, sufficient for their absorption by the soil. Within a hundred and fifty paces of the timber store beautiful streams of clear water issued from the ground in three different places, which converged into a brook abounding with water-cresses, and this, after passing through a small and thick jungle of tamarisk-bushes, formed a pool above the sea-beach which overflowed upon the shingle, and met the waves. We ascended the stream for a short distance, until, tempted by two or three large plane-trees, we halted for luncheon beneath their shade. The river, which occasionally flooded sufficiently to bring down heavy timber when felled among the mountains, flowed through an extremely rich but narrow valley, which extended into a glen between their precipitous slopes until it became a mere ravine. The mass of mountains in this district, which form a succession of wild and impassable steeps, is marked upon Kiepert's map as "unexplored." They were originally pine-forests, but the destruction of timber has been carried to such an excess that comparatively few trees remain. With my glass I could distinguish large trunks that lay rotting upon the ground, where they had pitched among the stems, and roots of trees that had been already felled; these had been rolled from the steep heights above, but having been caught in their descent to the torrent below by the opposing stumps, they had been abandoned, and other trees had been felled in their stead, where the inclination was more favourable for their transport.

This portion of the coast should be thoroughly explored by practical miners, as it is rich in minerals. I procured some fine specimens of pyrites of copper, which the natives mistook for silver; and should a mineralogical investigation be made by the authorities, I feel sure that the metallic wealth of Cyprus will be discovered between Caravastasi and Poli-ton-Krysokhus.

It was late before our baggage animals appeared, and when they at length arrived, Iiani's venerable camel was missing. It appeared that this worn-out old creature had been performing acrobatic feats in tumbling throughout the difficult journey, and had rolled, together with its load, down several places that had threatened its destruction. It had delayed the march several hours, as it had been many times released from difficulties by unloading, reloading, and dividing the heavier portions of baggage among the other camels which received a smaller pay. At length, upon arriving upon the deep sand of the beach, about a mile distant, it had fallen down, and given up everything except the ghost.

It was a natural annoyance to the owners of the other camels that Iiani should be paid highly for a useless animal, while they had to carry its load divided among them assisted by a division of the smaller weights among the servants' riding mules. The evening was passed in grumbling: everybody was in a bad humour. It was declared impossible to pitch the tent upon the sandy beach by the pool of fresh water, as there was no holding-ground for the tent-pegs. I quickly instructed them in making faggots of tamarisk-boughs which, tied to the ropes and buried in the sand, were much more secure than pegs in the hardest soil; and the tent was at length arranged. A small species of curlew tempted its fate by visiting the fresh-water margin just before our dinner-hour; I bagged it; and as the cook was in a bad humour, I made a fire of driftwood, with which the beach was strewed, and when the glowing embers had succeeded to the flame and formed a red-hot heap, I cut two forked sticks, which, placed on either side upright in the sand, supported my bird upon a long skewer of green tamarisk-wood. A little salt, pepper, and a smear of butter occasionally, produced a result that would have beaten Christo's best attempts.

On the following morning we were all once more in good humour; the old camel had not died, but had been brought into camp late at night. It now formed the object for everybody's joke, and its owner liani was recommended to "try and sell it," or "to make it a present to a friend," or "to ride it himself;" the latter course would have been a deserved punishment. Iiani escaped further remarks by jumping upon his mule and riding ahead, and we followed our guide without delay along the deep sandy beach.

We rode for fourteen miles along cliffs bordering the sea, with the deep hollows occasioned by the natural drainage causing a continual series of ups and downs, which reminded me forcibly of the coast of South Devon between Torquay and Dawlish. The difference lay in the rocks, which were all plutonic, and in the scenery upon our left, which was a wild and confused mass of mountains, scarred by deep and dark ravines, while the more distant summits exhibited the still-existing pine-forests; these had disappeared from the slopes which faced the coast, and had afforded facilities for exportation. We halted in a deep glen between exceedingly steep hills, through which a torrent-bed had cut its course directly to the sea. In this secluded spot, far from all villages or inhabitants, we arranged to encamp upon a flat and inviting plot of turf, which in Cyprus is rarely met with. Some tolerable elms and other trees formed a dense shade in a deep and narrow portion of the glen beneath the over-hanging cliffs, and a beautiful spring of water issued from the rock, received in a stone cistern beneath. An arch of masonry inclosed the spring, which some kind person had thus carefully arranged for the public good; this was richly clothed with maiden-hair ferns. The surplus water, after overflowing the stone basin, formed a faint stream, which trickled over the rocks between cliffs only a few feet apart, until it emerged from this narrow cleft and joined the sea. I walked down this natural alley to the beach and bathed, to the astonishment of my guide Iiani and another Cypriote, who rushed to the top of the cliff as though they thought I contemplated suicide; these people having a natural horror of cold water. The name of this secluded glen was Symboli.

On the following morning we started for Polis, fourteen miles by an easy route along the coast. The mountains upon our left were very precipitous, and exhibited the same character of complete wilderness which had marked them for the last two marches; the only difference apparent was an increase in the remaining pines, which fairly clothed their summits and ravines. The sea was perfectly calm, and for the first time during our stay in Cyprus we observed many shoals of fish playing upon the surface close to the beach. Two cormorants were in the bay, and I made some fortunate shots, killing one with the rifle at upwards of 200 yards, and disabling the other at about 250. There appeared to be more signs of game in this part of the country, as the cock francolins were crowing in many directions throughout our route, until we arrived at Polis, or, in full, "Poli-ton-Krysokhus."

This place was formerly important as one of the principal mineral centres of the island, and the large accumulations of scoriae in several mounds near the coast prove that mining operations were conducted upon an extensive scale. A concession had recently been granted to a small private company for the working of copper in this neighbourhood, and should the existence of metallic wealth be proved there can be no doubt that capital will be embarked in mining enterprises, and the locality will recover its former importance. On the other hand, all mining adventures should be conducted with the greatest caution. A common error is committed by sanguine speculators in following the footsteps of the ancients, upon the supposition that because in former ages a locality was productive, it should remain in the same profitable condition. Nothing can be more erroneous; it is generally poor gleaning after the Phoenicians. The bronze of those extraordinary miners and metallurgists was renowned above all other qualities; they worked the copper-mines of Cyprus and the tin-mines of Cornwall, but the expenses of working a mine in those days bore no comparison with the outlay of modern times. Slaves were employed as a general rule: forced labour was obtainable; and the general conditions of the labour-market were utterly at variance with those of the present day. The ancient miners would seldom have abandoned their veins of ore until they were completely exhausted, and the vast heaps of scoriae which now mark the sites of their operations may be the remains of works that were deserted as worn out and unproductive. It is true that traces of copper are visible in many places throughout the metamorphous rocks, and the greenstone from Soli to Poli-ton-Krysokhus, but it remains to be proved whether the metal exists in sufficient quantities to be profitably worked. It is generally believed that zinc was formerly produced at Soli, where vestiges of ancient mining operations are to be seen upon the surface, but for many centuries the works have been abandoned.

A very careful scientific examination of the island has been made by various explorers—M. Gaudry, Unger, and Kotschy: their reports are not encouraging, but at the same time it must be allowed that they were not practical miners. The work of M. Gaudry must always be accepted as a most valuable authority upon the geology, mineralogy, and general agricultural resources of Cyprus, but it will be remarked by all practical men that the explorations of the country have been superficial; no money has been expended; and is it to be supposed that the surface of the earth will spontaneously reveal the secrets of the interior?

Under the present administration it is quite impossible to say too much in praise of the energy and painstaking devotion to the interests of Great Britain and to those of this island by the High Commissioner and every officer, from the commissioners of districts to the subordinate officials; but according to the terms of the Convention with the Porte the island is as completely denuded of money as the summits of the cretaceous hills have been denuded of soil by the destructive agency of weather. It is painful to an English traveller, whose life may have been passed in practical development, to survey the country as it now is, to reflect upon what it has been, and to see that even under the auspicious reputation of an English occupation nothing can be done to awaken resources that have so long lain dormant. Money is wanted—money must be had. Without an expenditure of capital, riches may exist, but they will remain buried in obscurity.

A responsible official would reply—"We will give you a concession, we will give you every possible encouragement." The capitalist will ask one simple question, "Is Cyprus a portion of the British Empire upon which I can depend, or is it a swallow's nest of a political season, to be abandoned when the party-schemes have flown?"

Any number of questions may be asked at the present moment, but in the absence of all definite information no capitalist will embark in any enterprise in Cyprus, which may be ultimately abandoned like Corfu; and the value of all property would be reduced to a ruinous degree.

The mining interests of Cyprus must remain for the most part undeveloped until some satisfactory change shall be effected in the tenure of the island that will establish confidence.

Polis was a straggling place situated upon either side of a river, through the bed of which a very reduced stream was flowing about three inches in depth. A flat valley lay between the heights, both of which were occupied by numerous houses and narrow lanes, while the rich soil of the low ground, irrigated by the water of the river withdrawn by artificial channels, exhibited splendid crops of wheat and barley. Groves of very ancient olive-trees existed in the valley, and we halted beneath the first oak-trees that I had seen in Cyprus. These were wide- spreading, although not high, and I measured the girth of one solid stem—eighteen feet.

We had hardly off-saddled, when crowds of women and children collected from all quarters, with a few men, to stare at the new-comers; not at ME personally, but at my wife. They were, if possible, more filthy than the average of Cyprian women, and a great proportion of the children were marked with recent attacks of small-pox. I regretted that I had not a supply of crackers to throw amongst and disperse the crowd that daily pestered us; any lady that in future may travel through Cyprus should have a portmanteau full of such simple fireworks. It was in vain to explain that the people were a nuisance if too near: when driven to a moderate distance, they would advance shyly, by degrees; two or three children would come forward and sit down a few paces in front of the main body; after a few minutes several others would overstep this frontier and sit down five or six yards in advance of the last comers, and by this silent system of skirmishing we were always surrounded in twenty minutes after the original crowd had been dispersed. I did not mind them so long as they were not in personal contact, and were free from recent small-pox; but some of the red-pitted faces were full of warning.

There was nothing of interest to detain us at Polis, and we started early upon the 19th April towards Baffo. The valley through which the river Aspropotamo had deposited a layer of fertile alluvium divided the mountain range, leaving the plutonic rocks to the east; and on the western side we ascended a steep path over cretaceous limestone, broken and disturbed at intervals by the protrusion of eruptive rocks. As we increased our altitude we looked down upon a picturesque view of the bay of Krysokhus, with two sails upon its blue waters beneath the dark cliffs of the western shore. The ancient Marium or Arsinoe showed no vestiges except in the modern village of Polis, which, from the distance, looked better than the reality, as the foliage of numerous trees shadowing the terrace-built houses upon either side the rich green valley, backed by the lofty range of pine-covered mountains, completed a lovely landscape.

An hour had passed, but still we ascended; the path was as usual rugged, and we already looked down upon the sea and valley at least 2000 feet beneath. I had serious misgivings concerning the camels and their loads. General di Cesnola had examined the whole of this country in his search for antiquities, but the neighbourhood of the ancient Arsinoe, where much had been expected, was almost unproductive.

The path still rose; until at length we arrived upon an extensive plateau about 2400 feet above the sea. The soil was chocolate-colour, and the surface was covered with large stones of the sedimentary limestone that surrounds the coast, and which forms the flat-topped hills of the Messaria. In many places the natives had built these into walls around their fields, in order to clear the ground required for cultivation. We passed several villages, all squalid and miserable, although the rich soil exhibited green crops far superior to anything we had met with in the lower country. Extensive gardens of mulberry explained the silk-producing power of this neighbourhood, and almonds, figs, apricots, &c., throve in great numbers and luxuriance. This peculiarly fruitful plateau occupies an area of about eight miles from north to south, and four from east to west. We halted at the large Turkish village of Arodes, from which we looked down upon the sea and the small rocky island opposite Cape Drepano, on the western coast, almost beneath our feet. This portion of Cyprus is eminently adapted for the cultivation of fruit-trees, as the climate and soil combine many advantages. The elevation and peculiar geographical position attract moisture, while the lower ground upon the east is parched with drought. The evaporation from the sea below condenses upon the cooler heights immediately above and creates refreshing mists and light rain, which accounted for the superiority of the crops compared with any that I had seen elsewhere. Shortly after halting at Arodes we experienced these atmospherical changes. The thermometer at Polis had been 57 degrees at 7 A. M., and it was only 56 degrees at 3 P.M. at this altitude of 2400 feet. Although the sky had been clear, mists began to ascend from the chasms and gullies along the abrupt face of the mountain which overhung the sea; these curled upwards and thickened, until a dense fog rolled along the surface from the west and condensed into a light shower of rain. The Turkish inhabitants of the village were extremely civil, and made no complaints of scarcity from drought, as they fully appreciated the advantages of their locality. The hawthorn-trees were only just budding into bloom, while those in the low country had shed their flowers, and had already formed the berries. In future an extensive growth of fruit may supply the market of Alexandria, but at present the total absence of roads would render the transport of so perishable a material upon the backs of mules impossible. I had sent back our three riding mules to meet and to relieve the camels, and by this precaution the baggage animals arrived at a convenient hour.

The route to Baffo or Ktima, which is now the principal town, lay across the plateau for about five miles to the verge which formed the table-land, from which margin we looked down upon the deep vale below, bounded by the sea at a few miles distance.

We dismounted and walked down the long and steep pass, the mules being led behind. The entire face of the perpendicular cliffs was cretaceous limestone, but the scaly slopes of a hill upon our left, about a mile and a half distant, formed a loose heap of shale, which had slipped, either during earthquakes or heavy rains, in great masses to the bottom.

After a long and tedious descent we reached the base of the pass, and halted in a broad river-bed full of rocks and stones of all sizes, which had been rounded by the torrent of the rainy season. There was no water except in small pools that had been scraped in the sand for the benefit of the travelling animals. Having watered our mules and remounted, we ascended the steep banks of the stream and continued towards the sea, feeling a sensible difference in the temperature since we had descended from the heights.

The country was exceedingly pretty, as it sloped gently downwards for three or four miles, the surface ornamented with caroub-trees, until we at length reached the sea-beach and crossed the sandy mouth of the river's bed. The crops of cereals were perished by drought in the absence of irrigation; but upon continuing our route parallel with the beach we observed an immediate improvement, as the water was conducted by artificial channels to the various fields. This arrangement had been effected by erecting a temporary dam in the river's bed far among the mountains, and thus leading the stream into the conduit for many miles. Small brooks intersected our path along the coast, and in several places I remarked the ruins of ancient aqueducts. . . . There was nothing of peculiar interest upon this route; the land inclined upwards from the sea for six or seven miles to the foot of the mountain range, all of which was either cultivated with cereals or was covered with caroub- trees and olives. Many villages were dotted over the surface; these were green with mulberry and various fruit-trees. With the sea upon our right, and the waves dashing briskly upon the rocky shore, the scene was agreeable; but the sun was hot, and we were not sorry to see the distant minarets of Ktima after a ride of seventeen miles from Arodes.

We passed the ruins of ancient Paphos upon our right, and shortly afterwards ascended the rocky slope upon which the capital of the district, Ktima, is situated. It is a large town, and as we rode through the bazaar the narrow street was almost blocked with huge piles of oranges that had been imported from Jaffa, the season for the Cyprus fruit being nearly over.

Iiani was exceedingly stupid in selecting camping-ground, therefore upon arrival at a new place we invariably had to explore the neighbourhood, like migratory birds landed upon strange shores. We accordingly rode through the considerable town of Ktima amidst the barking and snapping of innumerable dogs, who attacked our British spaniels, keeping up a running fight throughout the way, until we emerged upon open country beyond the outskirts.

We were now once more upon a flat table-top, about a hundred feet above the plain between us and the sea, a mile and a half distant. The edge of the table-land formed a cliff, choked from its base with huge fallen blocks of sedimentary limestone, from the crevices of which trees grew in great profusion, reminding one of hanging coverts upon hill-sides in England. Descending a steep but well-trodden path between these cottage-like masses of disjointed rock, we arrived at the prettiest camping-ground that I had seen in Cyprus. This had formed the camp of the Indian troops when the occupation had taken place in July, 1878, and unfortunately in this charming spot they had suffered severely from fever.

The sea and the town and port of Baffo lay before us, but immediately in front of the rocky and tree-covered heights that we had descended were great numbers of park-like trees which I had never before met with. These were of large size, many exceeding fourteen feet in girth, with a beautiful foliage that threw a dense shade beneath. The name of this tree is Tremithia, and it bears a small fruit in clusters of berries which produce oil: this is used by the inhabitants for the same purposes as that obtained from olives. I had met with the bush in a wild state for the first time at Lapithus, and had been attracted by the aromatic scent of the young leaves, but I was not aware that it grew to the size of a forest-tree. Springs of pure water issued from the rocks in the cliff-side within a few yards of our position; these were caught in large reservoirs of masonry from twenty to thirty feet square and six feet deep, from the bottom of which the water could be liberated for the purposes of irrigation. We selected a position upon a terrace beneath a number of these splendid tremithias, which afforded a shade during all hours of the day. The little stream rippled just below, passing by the roots of the trees that sheltered us, and watered a rich and dark green plot of about two acres of—neither roses, nor violets, but something far better, which at once delighted our cook Christo—onions! According to his practical ideas the Garden of Eden would have been a mere wilderness in the absence of a bed of onions; but at length we had entered upon Paradise; this WAS a charming place! For some distance beyond this captivating plot the tremithias (which at a distance resembled fine-headed oaks) ornamented the surface and gave a park-like appearance to the country; but beyond them the plain was a gentle slope, highly cultivated towards the sea. Long before the arrival of our baggage animals we had visitors; Captain Wauchope, the chief commissioner of the district, and several officers in official positions, were kind enough to call. An old man and his wife, the proprietors of the onions, who lived close by, brought us some rush-bottomed chairs with much civility; and as the day wore on a long string of visitors appeared, including the Bishop and some of the native officials; and we were of course surrounded with the usual throng of women and children: these were cleaner and better looking than those we had hitherto encountered.

The camels did not appear until late in the evening, as they had descended the steep pass from the table-land of Arodes with much difficulty, and liani's "antique" had again fallen, repeatedly, and necessitated a division of his load, which already had been reduced to that of a donkey.

When the sun rose on the following morning I walked into Ktima by a good path, that led through the rocks along the base of the cliff until it ascended gradually to the town. Although the cyclamens were past their bloom, their variegated leaves ornamented the white stones as they emerged like bouquets from the crevices of fallen rock. There was little of interest in the town, which hardly repaid a walk: it left the same depressing feeling that I had so often experienced in our journey through Cyprus: "The past had been great, and the present was nothing."

The little insignificant harbour exhibited a few small craft of about twenty tons. There was a small fort and a British flag; there were also the ruins of ancient Paphos; but there was nothing to denote progress or commercial activity. In the afternoon Captain Wauchope was kind enough to accompany us over the ruins. As I have before explained, there is nothing of interest upon the surface of ancient cities throughout Cyprus. Anything worth having has been appropriated many ages since by those who understood its value, and beyond a few fallen columns and blocks of squared stone there is literally nothing to attract attention. Even General di Cesnola excavated in vain upon the site of ancient Paphos, which from its great antiquity promised an abundant harvest. There were two fine monoliths, the bases of which, resting upon a foundation of squared stones, appeared as though they had formed the entrance to a temple; these were pillars of grey granite (foreign to Cyprus) about twenty-seven feet high and three feet two inches in diameter.

There were stony mounds in many directions, and fallen pillars and columns of granite and of coarse grey and whitish marble; but beyond these ordinary vestiges there was nothing of peculiar interest. As there is no authority equal to General di Cesnola upon the antiquities of Cyprus, I trust he will excuse me for inserting the following interesting extract from his work, upon The Great Centre of the Worship of Venus:—

"Although this spot [Paphos] was the scene of great religious events, and was otherwise important in the island, yet neither are there more than a very few ruins existing above ground, nor have the explorations I have directed there at different times succeeded in bringing to light anything of interest. I believe that this absence of ruins can be accounted for in the following manner. Paphos was several times overthrown by earthquakes. The last time the temple was rebuilt was by Vespasian, on whose coins it is represented; but as nothing is said of the rebuilding of the city it is supposed that it was left in ruins; probably therefore during the long period that Cyprus was under the Roman and the Byzantine rule a great deal of the decorative and architectural material of Paphos was transported to the other city called Nea-Paphos, and used for its embellishment. In the Acts of the Apostles it is spoken of as the official residence of the Roman proconsul Paulus Sergius, and was therefore the capital of the island. By the time of the Lusignan kings Palaeo-Paphos had disappeared, and its ruins under their reign were extensively explored in search of statuary and other objects of art, with which to decorate the royal castle built in its vicinity. There is scarcely any ancient tomb to be found of a date previous to the Roman period which had not been opened centuries ago."

In page 207 General di Cesnola gives an illustration of "stone feet with a Cypriote inscription, from the temple of Paphos," which would suggest from their appearance that gout was not uncommon even within the temple of Venus. In continuation he writes, page 210:—

"The great temple of Venus was situated on an eminence, which at present is at a distance of about twenty-five minutes' walk from the sea. Some parts of its colossal walls are still standing, defying time and the stone-cutter, though badly chipped by the latter. One of the wall-stones measured fifteen feet ten inches in length, by seven feet eleven inches in width and two feet five inches in thickness. The stone is not from Cyprus, but being a kind of blue granite, must have been imported either from Cilicia or from Egypt.

"The temple as rebuilt by Vespasian seems to have occupied the same area as the former temple, and was surrounded by a peribolos, or outer wall. Of this a few huge blocks only are now extant. On the west side of this outer wall there was a doorway still plainly visible. Its width was seventeen feet nine inches. The two sockets for the bolts upon which the door swung are of the following dimensions: length six inches, width four and a half inches, depth three and a half inches. The south-east wall, I ascertained, by excavating its whole length, was690 feet long. The length of the west side I could only trace as far as 272 feet, its continuance being hiddenbeneath the houses of Kouklia. The length of the other two sides I was unable to ascertain for similarreasons. The walls of the temple itself, made of the kind of stone previously mentioned, but not in such huge blocks, I was able to trace correctly, bydint of patience; and though very little is seen above ground, yet, strange to say, the four corner-stonesare still standing. The north-east corner-stone iscased in a house in Kouklia, forming part of its wall; that of the north-west stands in a cross-street of the village by itself. Some European travellers have mistaken it from its present shape for the emblematic cone of Venus. The south-east corner stands also by itself in an open field, where the Christian population of Kouklia burn lamps and little wax-candles, but in honour of whom, or for what purpose, I did not inquire. The fourth corner-stone likewise forms part of a modern dwelling-house.

"The temple was oblong and of the following dimensions: the eastern and western walls measure 221 feet, and the two other sides 167 feet. I cannot vouch for the exact measurement on account of the difficulties I had to encounter, nevertheless the difference can be of some inches only. The corner-stone of the north-west side has a hole in it thirteen inches in diameter; a similar hole also exists in the south-west corner of the outer wall. As the temple at Paphos possessed an oracle, these strange holes, which go through the entire stone, may have been connected with it. This at least was the opinion of Dr. Friederichs when he came to pay me a visit at Paphos.

"From this spot, if a person stand upon this huge perforated stone, he can produce a clear and fine echo of a phrase of three or four words, pronounced in a hollow tone of voice."

It is quite possible that the tricks of acoustics may have been practised by the priests who officiated at oracular shrines, which would have awed the ignorant multitude; as in sacred groves a tree might have been made to speak by the simple contrivance of a man concealed within the hollow stem, which to outward appearance would have been considered solid. The devices of priestcraft to bring grist to their mill are not yet obsolete, as will be seen in many of the monasteries of Cyprus.

All the grandeur of ancient days was now represented by the heaps of stones and the rock caverns which mark the site of Paphos. What became of Venus after her appearance upon this shore may be left to the imagination; why she is represented by the exceedingly plain women of modern Cyprus surpasses the imagination. Perhaps the immorality connected with the ancient worship of the goddess of beauty and of love invoked a curse upon the descendants in the shape of "baggy trousers, high boots, and ugliness:" to which dirt has been a painful addition.

CHAPTER IX.

FROM BAFFO TO LIMASOL.

We left Ktima on 23rd April for Limasol. The weather was now perfect for out-door life, the thermometer 52 degrees at 7 A.M., and 70 degrees at 3 P.M. The route was agreeable, the crops were well irrigated by numerous streams led from the mountains, and the country generally was green and well wooded. After a march of fourteen miles, during which we had passed the ruins of several ancient aqueducts, we arrived at a running stream which issued from a narrow valley between cliffs and hills and emptied itself upon the sea-beach. A number of tamarisks formed a jungle near the mouth, and the banks were a bright rose-colour, owing to the full bloom of thickets of oleanders. This was a charming halting-place, and as the beach was strewn with dry timber that had been brought down from the mountains during the season when the stream was powerful, we should have a good supply of fuel in addition to fresh water. The route had been along the flat parallel with the sea from Ktima, and I noticed a wonderful change in the pace of the camels, as I had summoned Iiani when at the capital of the district before the Cadi at the Konak, and the chief commissioner had added his voice to the threat and monitions he had received concerning his future conduct regarding early starting and attention to my orders. Captain Wauchope had kindly furnished me with an excellent Turkish zaphtieh, or mounted policeman, whose red jacket and fez commanded a certain respect. This man was mounted upon a strong, well-built, and exceedingly active pony, or small horse, which led the way, as our new guide thoroughly knew the country.

While all hands were pitching the tent upon a sandy turf within a few yards of the sea-beach I took the dogs for a ramble up the thickly-wooded valley along the banks of the stream, as I had observed a number of blue-rock pigeons among the white cliffs, and I thought I might perhaps find a hare for the evening stew. I killed some pigeons, but did not move a hare, although the dogs worked through most promising ground, where green crops upon the flat bottom surrounded by thick coverts afford both food and shelter. We were returning to camp when I suddenly heard Merry and Shot barking savagely in some thick bushes upon the steep bank of the stream. At first I thought they had found a hedgehog, which was always Shot's amusement, as he constantly brought them into camp after he had managed to obtain a hold of their prickly bodies. The barking continued, and as I could not penetrate the bush, I called the dogs off. They joined me almost immediately, looking rather scared. It now occurred to me that they might have found a snake, as a few days ago I had heard Merry barking in a similar manner, and upon joining him I had discovered a snake coiled up with head erect in an attitude of defence. I had killed the snake and scolded the dog, as I feared he would come to an untimely end, should he commence snake- hunting in so prolific a field as Cyprus. Since that time all the dogs hunted the countless lizards which ran across the path during the march, and Shot was most determined in his endeavours to scratch them out of their holes.

I had called my three dogs together, and we were walking across a field of green wheat, when I suddenly missed Shot, and he was discovered lying down about fifty paces in our rear. Merry, who usually was pluck and energy itself, was following at my heels and looking stupid and subdued. This dog was indomitable, and his fault was wildness at the commencement of the day; I could not now induce him to hunt, and his eyes had a peculiar expression, as though his system had suffered some severe shock. Shot came slowly when I called him, but he walked with difficulty, and his jaws were swollen. I now felt sure that the dogs were bitten by a snake, which they had been baying when I heard them in the bush about five minutes before. We were very near the camp, and the dog crept home slowly at my heels. Upon examination there was no doubt of the cause; Shot had wounds of a snake's fangs upon his lip, under the eye, and upon one ear; he must have been the first bitten, as he had evidently received the greatest discharge of poison. Merry was bitten in the mouth and in one ear, both of which were already swollen, but not to the same degree as Shot, who, within an hour, had a head as large as a small calf's, and his eyes were completely closed. I had not the slightest hope of his recovery, as his throat had swollen to an enormous size, which threatened suffocation. I could do nothing for the poor dogs but oil their mouths, although knew that the poison would assuredly spread throughout the system. The dogs had been bitten at about 3.40 P.M. At 8 P.M. (our dinner-hour) Shot was a shapeless mass, and his limbs were stiff; the skin of his throat and fore-part of his body beneath his curly white and liver-coloured hair was perfectly black; his jowl, which now hung three inches below his jaws, was also inky black, as were his swollen tongue and palate. Merry's head and throat were swollen badly, and he lay by the blazing fire of logs half stupefied and devoid of observation.

On the following morning Shot was evidently dying; he did not appear to suffer pain, but was in a state of coma and swelled to such a degree that he resembled the skin of an animal that had been badly stuffed with hay. Merry was worse than on the preceding night, and lay in a state of stupor. I carried him to the sea and dipped him several times beneath the water; this appeared slightly to revive him, and he was placed in a large saddle-bag to be carried on a mule for the day's march. Shot had been quite unconscious, and when the men prepared an animal to carry him, it was found that he was already dead. This was a little after 8 A.M., and he had been bitten at about 3.40 P. M.: about 16 and a half hours had elapsed. My men dug a grave and buried the poor animal, who had been a faithful dog and an excellent retriever. From Merry's appearance I expected that we should have to attend to his remains in the same manner before the evening.

Snakes are very numerous in Cyprus, but I cannot believe in any great danger if these generally hated creatures should be avoided. If dogs will insist upon hunting and attacking them, they must be bitten as a natural consequence; in this fatal case there can be no doubt that the dog Shot was the first to discover and attack the snake, and Merry, upon hearing him bark, joined in the fight. It is quite unnatural for any of the serpent tribe to attack, except for the purpose of devouring their natural prey. As a general rule, the food of snakes consists of rats, mice, frogs, or toads, beetles, and other insects; the pythons and larger serpents feed upon such animals as hares, birds, and the young of either antelopes, deer, pigs, &c. Although a snake if trodden upon might by a spasmodic impulse inflict a bite, it would nine times out of ten endeavour to escape. The idea of any snake wilfully and maliciously premeditating an attack upon a man is quite out of the question, unless it has been either teased or excited by a dog when hunting. The same principle will hold good in the case of animals. No snake that feeds only upon rats, mice, and such small animals would seek to attack a dog, or any creature that was not its natural prey, and the actual danger from such reptiles is quite insignificant. The stories that are circulated of accidents are mostly exaggerated, or are perpetuated by constant repetition. I have been in snake countries such as Ceylon and Africa during many years, the greater portion of which has been passed in practical explorations, and I can safely say that I never thought of snakes until they met my eye, and no person that I ever knew was killed by a poisonous bite. In Cyprus there are several varieties. I have only seen three, a black species which is harmless, a mottled variety also non-poisonous, and a grey snake that is supposed to be deadly; there may be more, but I have never met with them. The stony nature of the country, and the bush-covered surface of the hills, together with the dryness of the climate, are all favourable to the development of snakes and lizards. The latter are exceedingly numerous, and are most valuable destroyers of insects; there are several varieties, but the most common is the bright copper-coloured species with a smooth skin. The chameleon also exists.

Although we had never taken the presence of snakes into serious consideration, the horrible effect of the bite upon the dogs made every one on the alert during the march over the rocky and bushy country from our camp to Evdimu. Our guide scorned a beaten track, and after having kept the regular path along the sea-coast for a mile, he struck directly up the mountain, which descended in a steep cliff to the shore, against which the waves dashed with violence. The country was exceedingly wild for some miles as we ascended through bush of young pines, dwarf-cypress, and mastic, occasionally passing pines of larger growth, which had, as usual, been mutilated. We moved partridges in several places, but these were old birds packed in considerable numbers: a bad sign at this season, when they should have been sitting upon eggs. At an elevation of about 1000 feet above the sea we came upon a park of caroub-trees, in which was a spring of water; large flocks of goats and cattle, together with many mules and horses, were roaming through this verdant district, which afforded abundant pasturage in the shape of wild artichokes, a variety of succulent thistles, and many plants suitable to the native animals in the absence of actual grasses. This is a distressing want throughout Cyprus; when the country is green, the verdure is produced by cultivated crops of cereals, which quickly change to yellow as they ripen; all the natural productions of the earth are what in England we should term "weeds "—there is no real grass, except in some rare localities where a species of "couch-grass" (the British farmer's enemy) crawls along the surface, being nourished by its knotty roots, which, penetrating into the deep soil, are enabled to escape the burning sun.

Upon reaching the summit, about 1200 feet above the sea, we looked over the richest landscape that I had seen in Cyprus. A succession of broad valleys and undulating hills gradually ascended, until in the far distance they terminated in elevated plateaux upwards of 2000 feet above the sea. The whole of this district, as far and no doubt much farther than the eye could reach, was richly wooded with caroub-trees and occasional olive-groves, while the distant villages were marked by the peculiar light-green of mulberry-clumps and other fruit-trees. The bottoms of the numerous valleys were dark with well-irrigated crops of cereals, and contrasted strongly with those of the higher ground, which had depended solely upon the uncertain rainfall.

There were beautiful sites for country residences throughout this scene, and it appeared strange that no house was visible except the ordinary mud-built dwellings in the native villages. The route over this country was abominable, as it was a succession of the steepest ups-and-downs into valleys many hundred feet in depth, which necessitated a scramble up a rocky zigzag for a similar height above, to be repeated after we had crossed each shoulder that formed a spur from the distant mountains, the drainage being at right angles to our path. Every plateau exhibited the same lovely view of the sea, cliffs of snow-white cretaceous rock, green hills, and deep vales, through which a stream of water had given birth to a thick growth of foliage. After a march of fourteen miles we halted in a deep dell beneath shady caroubs, a few yards from a brook of clear water which irrigated some of the richest crops I had seen in Cyprus. When the camels arrived Merry was very bad, and his skin beneath the hair had turned black; he lapped water with difficulty, as his tongue and mouth were swollen to a great size and were also black. As the dog could not eat I poured a quantity of olive-oil down his throat.

The large village of Evdimu was about a mile above us, and was distinguishable from the heights. A new and important church was in process of construction, upon which some Italian workmen were employed, and an air of prosperity in this neighbourhood contrasted favourably with most portions of the island. The cock-birds of francolins were crowing in all directions, and when rambling with Wise, my now solitary dog, vainly searching for a hare, I found several pairs of red-legged partridges, which of course at this season I respected.

The march on the following day was a continuation of the same beautiful country, until we at length reached the table-top of a stupendous cliff perpendicular to the sea, which washed its base. The path was in many places only a few feet from the edge, and afforded a magnificent view. The table-land upon which we rode was covered with evergreen shrubs and young pines, and the same rich landscape that we had admired on the previous day extended towards the mountains of the interior. The road had been as rough as could be imagined, and we now descended the last steep incline from the heights, which led into the plain below. The salt lake, which adds an important amount to the revenue of Cyprus, lay beneath us upon the right, in the heart of the peninsula of Akrotiri; immediately below were the ruins of ancient Curium, but to us invisible. . . .

We arrived at the town of Episkopi. Captain Savile thus describes it:—

"A pleasantly situated village, standing on the Episkopi or Lycos river, and very abundantly supplied with water. The houses are surrounded with fruitful gardens, and there are fields of grain and cotton in the vicinity. The inhabitants have however very small holdings, and are, as a rule, miserably poor. In former days Episkopi was a rich city, and contained in the Venetian times large manufactories; of its ancient greatness now remain the ruins of an aqueduct, immense storehouses or vaults, and several ruined Greek churches. The spurs from Mount Troodos extend nearly down to the shore, and the road follows the coast-line, traversing a very beautiful country; the ground in spring is covered with flowers and aromatic herbs, and the ravines are filled with a luxuriant growth of cypresses, wild-olives, and flowering shrubs."

There was nothing to induce a delay in Episkopi, but an addition may be made to the above description in stating that the river which has fertilised the spot and made it famous originates in the Troodos range. Later on, during the summer months, I often rested at the faintly dripping source of its first mountain affluent near the top of Troodos, which by degrees acquires strength from the Olympus drainage to form an important stream.

We passed quickly through Episkopi with its fruitful gardens, narrow streets, and yelling curs. Poor Wise was now alone, and we could no longer exhibit a combined front of three British lions to the snapping curs of Cyprus, therefore the dog Wise-ly kept close to the heels of our guide's pony and just before me, which, without the ignominy of retreat, secured his position from all assailants. We passed below the ancient aqueduct, which conveyed a powerful volume of water to the turbine-wheel upon our right; and at length emerging from the town, we entered once more upon the plain, and steering for a large square tower which we had remarked when at the summit of the heights, we shortly arrived at the thriving village of Kolossi, about a mile and three-quarters distant.

This large village was a waving sea of barley, some of the finest that I had seen, and due to artificial irrigation. An ancient aqueduct of masonry turned a mill close to the large square tower that we had previously observed. We halted for luncheon beneath an olive-tree a few yards distant from the aqueduct, in a garden of fruit-trees which were in the brightness of a spring foliage.

The square tower of masonry must have formed a portion of defensive works that have disappeared, as there is no flanking protection, but the tower rises above the plain to a height of about sixty feet like a huge block of stone. It is said to have been erected by the Knights Templars, and is of great solidity; but such experienced soldiers would hardly have constructed so important a work without due regard to the first rules of fortification.

After luncheon, the camels having arrived, I would not allow them to unload, but directed them straight to Limasol. Of course their owners declared the distance to be a long day's march, but as the map showed it to be six miles, I insisted.

From Kolossi the country was perfectly open and cultivated; the peasantry were engaged in reaping barley, which was carried away upon donkeys' backs instead of being conveyed by carts. The usual caroub-trees, although plentiful upon the rising ground in the distance, were few and far between, and from this to Limasol, which was now in view, the beauty of the landscape had departed . . . . . I dislike the approach to a large town in a semi-wild country; the charming simplicity and independence of travelling is destroyed, and the servants become more or less demoralised by a love of new associations which produces a neglect of duty. Iiani was with us in addition to our guide the zaphtieh, therefore, as an utter stranger to the locality, I ordered them to lead us to a convenient camping-ground. As we approached the town there were the usual minarets and date-palms, and several vessels, including steamers, were lying in the roadstead. We halted near the entrance in a forsaken garden, where the walls were broken down and the unwatered orange-trees, although in faint blossom, were parched and faded. Two very large apricot-trees promised a shade for the tent, but the sakyeeah, or water-wheel, together with two powerful English lifting-pumps that were connected with a large reservoir and aqueduct of masonry, were in the last stage of rust and rottenness. I was not prepossessed with the aspect of the spot, as it reminded me strongly of an English property in charge of the Court of Chancery. The baggage animals with the tents arrived while our people were employed in clearing a space beneath the trees from the innumerable stones, which, as usual throughout Cyprus, covered the surface. The servants were busily engaged in erecting the tent, when a long, lanky individual, with a repulsive countenance, marched through the little crowd and haughtily inquired "who we were, and what business we had there?"

This was the first instance of incivility that I had met with in our journey through the island. The man was a Turk, and was not the proprietor, but only the agent for this wretchedly-neglected property. The unfortunate owner was sleeping with his fathers, or he would, I feel sure, have welcomed us with true Turkish politeness and hospitality but having departed this life, some legal difficulties had occasioned trouble, and the estate was in the hands of the uncivil agent, who, of course, being nobody, assumed the airs of somebody, and endeavoured by rudeness to exhibit his importance. We were travel-stained and dusty as millers, therefore our personal appearance had not impressed him favourably; he was in a thread-bare long black cloth habit that combined the cloak, dressing-gown, and frock-coat in a manner inexplicable, and known only to Turks. This garment was trimmed in the front edges with rather mangy-looking fox-skin: loose pegtop trousers of greasy-looking cloth, dirty and threadbare, completed the costume of the great curiosity of Cyprus, "a rude person."

I was not at the time aware that he understood Arabic, and happily I addressed Amarn in that language, expressing my surprise that in this country, where we had travelled so widely and found civility upon all sides, we should be subjected to such rudeness. My servants, who were more annoyed than myself, spoke rather loudly, and assured him that if he was a Turk, their master was a pasha of his Sultan, and we would at once quit his miserable neglected ground and mention his inhospitality to the chief commissioner. By this time the rear baggage animals had appeared, and the imposing array of luggage and people seemed to impress him with the fact that we were neither gipsies nor vagabonds. I explained to him that we should not have presumed to intrude within a walled garden, but as the old walls had disappeared and the place was in an open and ruinous condition, we had trespassed innocently. He disappeared with an apology, but upon the first opportunity after we had examined the neighbourhood of Limasol we changed our camp to a good position on the eastern outskirts of the town. This side was rich in caroub-trees, and had grass existed it would have formed a park: the ground sloped from the mountains, about six miles distant, gradually to the sea, the surface was richly wooded by caroubs throughout, and the soil was cultivated with barley, which was already in the hands of reapers. There were six caroub-trees in a line which connected their shade, and we soon cleared the cultivated, but withered, surface of the large clods of earth, which, having been turned up by the plough, had baked beneath the sun into the hardness of bricks; these were arranged in a square to mark the limits of the camp, while the interior area was pounded to produce an even floor; from this position we looked upon the sea, about a quarter of a mile distant, and upon the town of Limasol upon our right.

No town in Cyprus exhibited the results of a British occupation to the same extent as Limasol. The chief commissioner, Colonel Warren, R.A., was an officer of great energy and ability, and he had grappled vigorously with every difficulty and cleansed the Augean stables thoroughly. The town is about a mile and a half in length, and faces the sea in a position somewhat similar to that of Larnaca. The quay is washed by the waves, which in stormy weather dash against the houses, at which times it is impossible to land from boats, and crews must remain on board their vessels safely anchored in the roadstead. Although not so extensive as Larnaca, Limasol is more compact, and the houses and gardens are superior. Owing to the active authority of the chief commissioner, the streets were scrupulously clean, and all the refuse of the town was conveyed to a safe distance. A public market had been recently arranged, covered with corrugated galvanised iron, in which the departments for meat, vegetables, &c., were kept separate, and the appearance and organisation resembled a market-place in England. The various open places within the town, instead of being receptacles for filth, as is usual throughout the East, had been carefully planted with young trees, most of which were exhibiting their first spring shoots and leaves. The quay which faced the sea, although exposed to the undermining action of the waves, had been repaired and was in fair condition; from this a tolerable pier projected, upon which piles of goods were being disembarked from the steamer that had just arrived from Larnaca. Two small tugs ran upon alternate days, thus affording facilities for passengers and goods between Limasol and Larnaca, which was a great convenience recently established to avoid the difficulty of the roadless land journey. H.M.S. Torch was in the roadstead, together with about twenty vessels of various flags and tonnage. Some of these were loading wine for Trieste, and it was interesting to watch the system adopted to save the difficulty of embarking the heavy casks in lighters, in the absence of cranes or winches. The barrels when full were slightly inferior in weight to their displacement of sea-water; they accordingly floated almost level with the surface, and were formed into a chain of two casks abreast and about fifty yards in length. Thus arranged, they were towed by boats until alongside the vessel, when they were easily hoisted up on board. As boats could not lie against the perpendicular wall of the quay except during a perfect calm, there was considerable trouble in carrying on the commerce of the port according to modern requirements; but the inventions of necessity had simplified many difficulties at the expense of increased manual labour. Boats lay a few yards off the shore, and were loaded by men who walked shoulder- deep with the packages upon their heads. I saw lighters discharging planks and baulks of timber, by shooting them into the sea with sufficient force to follow the direction given towards the shore, while the receivers stood in the water to capture them upon arrival.

The shops and stores along the quay-face closely resemble those of Larnaca, but there was more activity among the people. The streets of the bazaar were thronged with mules and donkeys bringing the produce of the interior to the shipping centre, and the crush of animals had been carefully modified by the arrangements instituted by Colonel Warren, who had established a large walled court, or stable-yard, into which all empty mules and asses were driven, instead of being allowed to block the thoroughfare; each beast paid some trifle for this accommodation, which added to the fund for municipal improvements.

The public offices were very inferior, that of the chief commissioner himself being a small white-washed room, which exhibited an utter disregard of personal comfort in the interests of government economy. There is a curious old fort within the town which has been altered and added to until it has become an absurdity; this would be utterly useless as a defence, and the Turkish guns having been removed, it is now converted into a prison; beneath the ground there are dungeons which are no longer used.

The roadstead of Limasol is formed by the projection of the Akrotiri peninsula, which affords protection from the west and south-west, but it is directly exposed from the east to the south. The anchorage is safe, with good holding-ground in ten fathoms. The peculiar shaped peninsula of Akrotiri is about seven miles wide, and the lake in its centre, when full, has a width of about four miles; but during the exhaustive heat of summer it evaporates to the dimensions of a mere pool, and leaves its deserted bed encrusted with a deposit of salt. This lake has no connection with the sea, and its maximum depth is under three feet; the salt is formed upon the same principle as that of the Lake of Larnaca, and certainly not by the percolation of sea-water through the sand, as the Limasol lake is considerably above the sea-level. There is a lighthouse at Cape Gatta, which can be seen at a distance of fifteen miles, as from its elevated position the lamp is 190 feet above the sea. From this point to Limasol the beach is low and sandy, and has always been accepted as the most favourable point for a disembarkation of troops. With historical facts before us there is small excuse for the blunder committed in landing our army of occupation, during the extreme heat of July, at Larnaca instead of Limasol. At the former port there is not a tree to throw a shade, and the miserable aspect of the surrounding country must have had a most depressing effect upon the nervous system of officers and men, while at Limasol the country is agreeable and the shady caroubs exist almost to the sea-shore, in numbers that would have sheltered an army of three times the force represented. I cannot conceive of more deliberate cruelty inflicted upon all grades than an unnecessary exposure to the burning summer sun of Cyprus in bell-tents, when shady trees existed in so convenient a locality as Limasol. If the root of the offence could be traced it would probably be discovered that the advice had been given by some persons interested in the possession of property at Larnaca, where rents of houses rose from nil to a fabulous amount upon the disembarkation of the troops. Altogether this military enterprise of occupation was effected with the usual British confusion and lack of arrangement.

The commissariat of course broke down, although special pains had been taken to supply the troops with luxuries that to a simple mind are inconceivable; thus COPPER WARMING-PANS in great numbers were sent out! As the thermometer was above 100 degrees Fahr., these fiery furnaces were hardly appreciated. It is a reflection upon the want of resource exhibited by the authorities that these peculiar utensils were not sent out as regimental stew-pans, as there was a dearth of cooking-pots, and the warming-pans might have added materially to the comforts of the insides, instead of the outsides of the men, by reducing the gutta-percha-like texture of Cyprian bullocks into a savoury stew. Another comfort thoughtfully supplied by some more than usually insane authority, who no doubt had passed a severe competitive examination, was exhibited in countless coal-boxes of cast-iron! These curious devices were about three feet six inches long by two feet and a half deep, and the same in width. To my ideas they were only suitable for gigantic foot-pans or hip-baths, or as an aquarium for a young seal; but their real object was to contain coal for the supply of the various tents! What is to become of our country, exclaims the British taxpayer, if this frightful waste is to continue? What traveller or explorer ever carried with him a copper warming-pan and a gigantic coal-box, weighing nearly two hundred pounds? And these useless abominations are to hamper the operations of our troops, and to wear out our sailors in the labour of the disembarkment of such disgraceful lumber! Should we unhappily in some future political annexation send a military force to Spitzbergen, we shall probably omit the warming-pans and fuel, but supply a shipload of refrigerators and "Family Ice Machines."

A number of these cast-iron coal-boxes had been converted into cisterns by Sir Garnet Wolseley, which surrounded the wooden Government House at Lefkosia, and were kept full of water in case of fire. So practical a general would have been the first to condemn the palpable absurdity of coal-boxes, even had coals been required; surely they could have been laid upon the bare ground by the tent side, instead of causing the inconvenience, labour, and ridicule of importing such outrageous nonsense.

When the famous military invasions of Cyprus took place in historical times there were certainly neither warming-pans nor coal-boxes, either with Richard Coeur de Lion of England in 1191, or with the Turks under Lala Mustafa in 1570.

Both these experienced warriors selected Limasol for the point of disembarkation, and landed their troops and horses upon the sandy beach in Akrotiri Bay. Richard I. was on his way to the third crusade; but his fleet having been dispersed by a storm, several vessels had been driven on the south coast of Cyprus, where, instead of receiving the hospitality usually exhibited to shipwrecked mariners, his people were robbed and thrown into prison at Limasol by the king, Isaac Comnenus. One of the principal vessels of the fleet which conveyed Berengaria, daughter of the King of Navarre, who was the betrothed of Richard and was accompanied by his sister the Queen Dowager of Sicily, took shelter in Akrotiri Bay and anchored. It appears that the wily Isaac Comnenus endeavoured to persuade the ladies to land, in the hope of effecting their capture, and probably extorting a heavy ransom; but suspicion being aroused, the ship set sail and was shortly met by Richard's own vessel.

Upon hearing that his shipwrecked crews had been detained and imprisoned Richard immediately steered for Limasol, and, with his well-known impetuosity of character, lost no time in disembarking his troops, and shortly brought the Greek army to action under Isaac Comnenus and utterly defeated them. The Latin inhabitants of Limasol had already thrown open their gates, and Richard, after his victory, returned laden with spoils, including the imperial standard, which was eventually hung in St. Edmund's Chapel, Suffolk.

This first battle took place at Kolossi, near to Limasol. After the flush of victory an additional warlike impulse was given to his forces by the arrival of the chivalrous Guy de Lusignan, ex-king of Jerusalem, accompanied by the Princes of Antioch and Tripoli. The marriage of Richard with Berengaria took place at Limasol; she was there crowned Queen of England by the Bishops of York and Evreux. Richard, who did not prolong his honeymoon when an opportunity of fighting was at hand, immediately collected his forces, and, together with Guy de Lusignan, marched for the interior, where Isaac Comnenus had re-organised his army. Guy de Lusignan with a division of the troops marched upon Famagousta, which surrendered without resistance, while Richard attacked the Greek army under Isaac Comnenus in the plain of Messaria. Owing to the disparity of force the battle was for some time doubtful, and at length the two leaders engaged in personal encounter, resulting in the capture of Isaac Comnenus and the total discomfiture of his army. The city of Lefkosia at once threw open its gates to the victorious Richard.

The next disembarkation of troops at Limasol, on 1st July, 1570, under the Turkish general Lala Mustafa, was upon a much larger scale, as the expedition comprised 70,000 infantry, 30,000 cavalry, and 200 cannon. With this force Lefkosia was assaulted, and taken after a few weeks' siege; and the inhabitants were subjected to inconceivable atrocities, 20,000 of both sexes being mercilessly butchered during the sack which followed the capture of the town. The Turkish forces then marched upon the great stronghold of Cyprus, Famagousta. This powerful fortress was invested by land and sea, and although defended by only 7000 Venetian troops, under their gallant commandant, General Bragadino, it sustained a vigorous siege for more than ten months, until the heroic garrison was reduced by sickness and starvation. During this time an extraordinary apathy was exhibited by Venice, which should at all hazards have determined upon the relief of this important position. On 23rd January, 1571, the only effective expedition entered Famagousta with 1600 men, provisions and ammunition, with a squadron commanded by the Venetian Marc Antonius Quirini; but on the 1st August following, the provisions and ammunition having been completely expended, it became absolutely necessary to negotiate the terms of capitulation. A detailed description of this interesting siege is given in the work of Richard Knolles, The General History of the Turks, published in London in 1638.

The conditions of surrender stipulated that "The garrison should march out with five guns and the horses of the commanders, and should be conveyed to Candia in the ships and at the expense of the Turks; that the inhabitants should be free to quit the town and take their property, and that those who preferred to remain should be unmolested both as regards their persons and their goods."* (*Captain Savile's Cyprus, p. 22.)

General di Cesnola writes, page 39:—

"These conditions were eagerly accepted by the treacherous Mustafa; hostages were exchanged; Turkish vessels, as stipulated, entered the port of Famagousta, and took on board all those who wished to leave the island; nothing remained but the formality of delivering the keys of the city to the victor.

"On 5th August General Bragadino, accompanied by his lieutenants Baglioni, Martinengo, and Quirini, went to the Turkish camp, and was politely received by Mustafa. After the delivery of the keys, and when General Bragadino had risen to take leave, the vile Turk asked him for special hostages for the safe return from Candia of the Turkish vessels which were to convey him and his men thither; Bragadino refused this, as not having been stipulated in the accepted conditions of his surrender. Then Mustafa accused him of bad faith, and of having put to death fifty Turkish pilgrims after he had surrendered, which was indignantly denied by Bragadino. The pasha, becoming enraged, ordered the four Venetians to be put to death, and in a few minutes Generals Baglioni, Martinengo, and Quirini were executed in the presence of Bragadino, for whom a more terrible death was reserved. The executioner cut off his nose and ears; three times he was made to lay his head upon the block, as if to be beheaded, then, heavily chained, was thrown into a dark dungeon, and left for nine days in that miserable condition.

"On the tenth day, by order of Mustafa, Bragadino was brought out of prison and made to carry earth for the repair of the fortifications during several hours, after which, more dead than alive, the heroic soldier was tied to a stake, and, in the presence of the ferocious Mustafa, was flayed alive. His skin, stuffed with hay, was sent with the heads of the other three Venetians as presents to the Sultan."

The two most important conquests of Cyprus have thus commenced from the port of Limasol, which is destined to become of primary importance as the great commercial representative town of this now poor island.

We remained sixteen days at Limasol, during which time we had the pleasure of the society of Colonel and Mrs. Warren and their young family, which we thoroughly appreciated after the exile from civilised life and ladies since we had quitted Kyrenia and Lefkosia. The leading officials and some Greek merchants of the town were good enough to call frequently, and kindly afforded much information; at the same time they did not conceal their disappointment at the terms of the occupation, which, by draining the island of its revenue, completely paralysed the good intentions of the English government; the best resolutions being valueless unless supported by the necessary capital.

Although I received every politeness from the inhabitants, who appeared to think I had some official mission, it was not difficult to trace a general tone of complaint and dissatisfaction, which was perfectly natural under the existing regime. Although nothing could exceed the pains taken by Sir Garnet Wolseley and all his officials to introduce reforms for the general welfare of the people, the task was simply impossible where various interests were conflicting, and no HYBRID government could at once destroy existing abuses and at the same time establish laws suitable to all classes. This general reform required an independent administration, untrammelled by mongrel relations with the Turk, and equally free from the vexatious labyrinths of English jurisprudence. I do not wish to catalogue the long list of grievances which have been entrusted to my unwilling ears, but there are some which are so utterly destructive to the interests of the country and the government, that I have no hesitation in describing them.

The great trade of Limasol is wine, as the district exhibits the industry first encouraged by the Venetians; this, as the great money-producing cultivation, opposed to Mussulman prejudices, has been burdened with extortionate taxation and restrictions, which have not yet been relieved by the British administration.

CHAPTER X.

THE WINE DISTRICT OF LIMASOL.

In the fifteenth century the Cyprian vines were selected for the now celebrated vineyards of Madeira; nothing can better exemplify the standard of industry and consequent prosperity than the vine, when we regard the identical plant in the hands of the Portuguese and in its original home in Cyprus under the Turkish administration. The first historical notice of the vine occurs when Noah, stranded upon Mount Ararat, took advantage, upon the first subsidence of the waters, to plant a vineyard; and, according to the curt biblical description, it grew, produced, and the wine intoxicated the proprietor, all within a few days. It may not have occurred to the wine trade that this biblical fact proves that the consumption of wine had been among the first assumed necessities of the human race; if Noah's first impulse upon landing suggested the cultivation of the vine, he was restoring to the world a plant that had been considered so absolutely important that he must have provided himself with either buds or cuttings in great quantities when he selected his animals for the Ark BEFORE the Deluge. If this is true, the use of wine must have been pre-historical, and its abuse historical; the two purposes having continued to the present day. It may therefore be acknowledged that no custom has been so universal and continuous as the drinking of wine from the earliest period of human existence. The vine is a mysterious plant; it is so peculiarly sensitive that, like a musical instrument which produces harmony or discord at the hands of different performers, the produce of the same variety is affected by the soil upon which the plants are grown. Thus ten thousand young vines may be planted upon one mountain, all of the same stock; but various qualities of wine will be produced, each with a special peculiarity of flavour, according to the peculiarities of soil. The same estate, planted with the same vines, may produce high class wines and others that would hardly command a market, if the soil varies according to the degrees of certain localities. It would now be impossible to produce Madeira wine in Cyprus, although the plants might be imported and cultivated with the greatest attention. When the vines were shipped from Cyprus and planted in Madeira during the rule of the Venetians, it must not be supposed that those vines had ever produced wine of the well-known Madeira flavour and quality; that flavour was the result of some peculiarity in the soil of the new country to which the vines had been transplanted, and there can be little doubt that the rich and extremely luscious variety known in Cyprus as "Commanderia" was the parent vine of the Madeira vineyards.

It is well known that the costly experiments of a century at the Cape of Good Hope have verified the fact that the vine is the slave of certain conditions of soil, which impart to this extremely delicate and sensitive plant a special flavour that is incorporated with the wine, and can never be eradicated. The vines of the Cape, although of infinite variety, produce wines with a family taint which is a flavour absorbed from the soil. Any person who knows Constantia, the luscious wine of the Cape of Good Hope, will at once detect the soupcon of that flavour in every quality of wine produced in the colony. It may therefore be accepted that the flavour of wines depends upon the soil; thus it would be impossible for a vine-grower to succeed simply by planting well- known superior varieties of vines, unless he has had practical experience of the locality to be converted into vineyards.

This fact is thoroughly exhibited in Cyprus, where the peculiarities of soils are exceedingly remarkable, and cannot fail to attract attention, each of these qualities of earth producing a special wine.

If a planter establishes a vineyard he will naturally select a certain variety of vine, and a corresponding situation that will ensure a marketable quantity of wine; thus in Cyprus a comparatively small area of the island is devoted to the cultivation of the grape, which is comprised chiefly within the district of Limasol. No wine is made in the Carpas district, nor to the north of the Carpasian range of jurassic limestone; there are no vineyards of importance in the western district; or yet in the plain of Messaria, except upon the western border, in the neighbourhood of Dali, towards the Makhaeras mountain.

Although there are many varieties of Cyprus wines, there is one prevailing rule: the white commanderia, a luscious high-flavoured wine, is grown upon the reddish chocolate-coloured soil of metamorphous rocks. The dark red, or black astringent wines, are produced upon the white marls and cretaceous limestone. The quantity produced is large, and the dark wines can be purchased retail in the villages for one penny the quart bottle!—and in my opinion are very dear at the money.

According to the official returns kindly supplied to me by Mr. Robson, the chief of customs, the following list represents the declared duty-paid production from 1877 to 1879.

                      Spirits— Commanderia— Black Wines—
                  Okes 2.75 lbs. Okes 2.75 lbs. Okes 2.75 lbs.
1877-1878. . 155,451 117,000 2,500,000
1878-1879. . 430,000 300,000 6,000,000

Spirit is valued at about 2.5 Piastres the Oke
Commanderia " " 2 " " "
Black Wines " " 1.25 " " "
The rate of exchange: 9 Piastres to 1 shilling = 180 per
                                         pound sterling.

It will be observed that an immense difference is represented in the yield of the two years. This is to be accounted for by the superabundance of rains in 1878-1879, which caused a great quantity, but bad quality, of juice, and the wine of this vintage is so inferior that a large proportion is turning to vinegar, and can be used for no other purpose.

The habit of calculating by low quantities, as "okes," as the French reckon in "francs," is at first sight perplexing to the English mind, and conveys an erroneous impression of the actual results. If the population of Cyprus is about 200,000, the maximum wine-crop of 6,000,000 okes would only yield 30 okes, or 60 ordinary wine-bottles, to each person during the year. The local consumption is exceedingly small, which can only be accounted for by the general poverty of the population.

The exports are directed principally to the various ports of the Levant, Constantinople, Smyrna, Alexandria, in addition to Trieste, and parts of Southern Italy. Some of the dark wines are shipped to Marseilles, for the well-known establishment at Cette, where they are used for mixing with other wines. It should at once be understood that no quality of Cyprus wines is suitable to the English market, as they are generally shunned even by the English residing in the island, where their extreme cheapness might tempt people into the bad taste of consuming them. At the same time, these wines are well appreciated by the native population, especially the dark astringent qualities.

The difficulty of introducing a new wine is well known to English wine-merchants, and the mysteries of the trade would somewhat astonish the innocent would-be connoisseur. There can be no doubt that the palate must be educated to enjoy fine dry wines, precisely as the ear must be instructed before it can appreciate classical music. There is a harmony in the senses of hearing, smell, and taste which is the result of civilised life; this may be right or wrong physically, as the nerves become more delicate and sensitive, which may affect the brain more or less directly. There can be no doubt that it affects the stomach. Certain civilised persons prefer game in a state approaching to decomposition; I have seen savages who enjoy flesh when actually putrid, and above all horrors, fish when stinking! Such food would disgust the civilised man who prefers his game "high," and would perhaps kill other civilised people whose palates and stomachs have been educated to avoid impurities. In the same manner the palate must be educated for wines or other drinks. I gave an old priest a bottle of Bass's pale India ale; he could not drink half a glassful but rejected it as picro (bitter); the same old man enjoyed his penny-a-bottle black Cyprus wine, reeking of tar and half-rotten goat-skins, in which it had been brought to market—a stuff that I could not have swallowed! It must therefore be borne in mind when judging of Cyprian wines, that "English taste does not govern the world." Although the British market would be closed to the coarse and ill-made wines of Cyprus, there are other markets which accept them gladly, and would absorb them to a high degree, were they improved by superior cultivation and manufacture.

At the same time that the produce of Cyprus is now a unsuitable to the English market, there is no reason why it should be excluded at a future time, when scientific culture shall have enhanced the quality. It should be remembered that the poorer classes of Great Britain would be immensely benefited by a beverage that should be within their reach in price, and at the same time be sufficiently invigorating without the direct intoxicating properties of spirits or the sleepy, heavy, and thirst-increasing qualities of beer. If Cyprus is at some future time to become a British colony, the wine trade will be the principal source of industry, and should be developed by the government with every possible encouragement to the proprietors of vineyards. An improved quality of wine will not necessitate an additional price, but, on the contrary, the wine-growing resources of the island are so irrepressible that they have withstood the oppression of the past and present, and when relieved of this incubus, not only should the quality improve, but the price should be reduced. In this case, should the Cyprian produce be favoured by a nominal import duty in England, the wine will be within the reach of the poorer classes, and may ameliorate that crying evil of our country, "intoxication," by weaning the spirit-drinker to a more wholesome drink.

It must never be supposed by the most sanguine that Cyprian wines will be fashionable among the upper classes in England. I do not think they will ever surpass Marsala or many of the Cape wines. English people, as a rule, object to cheap wines, or at least they are reserved concerning the price, should cheap wine be upon their table. It is a dangerous thing to mention the cost of any wine, even to your nearest friend; although he might have enjoyed it when he thought it must have cost you 72 shillings the dozen, he will detect some unpleasant peculiarity when you may foolishly have confided to him that it only cost you 36 shillings, or, worse still, 24 shillings. He will possibly suggest to you on the following morning that "something disagreed with him during the night, but he does NOT think it was the 24 shilling wine." Here is the fault of HALF-EDUCATED palates; they expect too much, and are guided by fancies. The same person might be beguiled into the belief that the 24 shilling wine was very superior if he had been deceived by an assurance that it cost 72 shillings. There are really very few amateurs who could value unknown wines by the test of their own palates; but the chilly climate of England is adverse to light wines, and necessitates a full body, with considerable strength.

The sherries are always fortified by an addition of between 30 to 40 per cent. of alcohol before they are shipped to England, without which they would be unsaleable; as to our taste, they would be empty and vapid. We must therefore make a considerable allowance when judging of Cyprus wines in their present extremely rude and uncultivated position.

Nothing is added, and the following concise description will account for their disagreeable peculiarities.

There are no roads in Cyprus in the mountainous wine-producing districts, therefore all agricultural products must be conveyed upon the backs of mules up and down the steepest and most dangerous rocky tracks, apparently more fitted for goats than other animals. A mule will travel in this rough country with a load of 250 lbs. This serious difficulty of transport will account for the rude and ancient method of conveying wine in goat-skins. "No man will put new wine into old bottles," referred to this system of employing skins instead of casks, or other receptacles that could be cleaned and rendered tasteless. The goat-skin would quickly rot, unless it was prepared by a species of tar; thus not only is the naturally unpleasant flavour of the skin imparted to the wine, but the mixture of tar renders it completely abominable to any palate that has not been educated to receive it. Let any person conceive the result of pouring ten or twelve gallons of Chateau Lafitte into an old and dirty goat-skin thoroughly impregnated with tar, and carrying this burden upon one side of a mule, balanced by a similar skin on the other side filled with the choicest Johannisberger. This load, worth at least 70 or 80 pounds at starting, would travel for two days exposed to a broiling sun, and would lie for several days before it would be turned into the vat of the merchant at Limasol. By that time, according to civilised taste, it would be perfectly valueless and undrinkable; if the best wines in the world can be thus destroyed by a savage means of transport, what must the effect be upon such inferior qualities as the crude produce of Cyprus? Common sense will suggest that the first step towards improvement will be the completion of roads throughout the wine districts, that will enable the two-wheeled native carts to convey the wine in barrels direct from the growers to the merchants' stores at Limasol.

We will now commence at the beginning, "the cultivation of the vine," and trace its progress until the wine is ready for the consumer.

As I have already described, the commanderia and the black wines are produced by the two different qualities of soils, but there is no difference in the altitudes. The new British road from Limasol to Platraes, thirty miles, cuts directly through the principal vine districts of the country. From the deep valley and roaring torrent, up to the mountain-tops exceeding 4000 feet above the sea-level, the country is green with vineyards in the middle or latter end of May; not a yard of available land is lost. When the shoots are about three feet long and have shown the embryo bunches, a number of men enter the vineyard with switches and knock off the tender ends of the runners, which in a gentler method of cultivation would be picked off with the finger and thumb-nail. Sometimes goats are turned in to nibble off the shoots in order to save labour, and at the same time to feed the animals; they of course damage the vines, but the Cypriote thinks the system pays. The young vines are never staked and tied as in Europe, but are allowed to take their chance, and the heavy bunches in many instances rest upon the dusty ground.

There is seldom rain after May, but a few showers are favourable at this particular season when the young bunches are in blossom. In the best vineyards attention is given to clearing away the weeds after rain, but usually the vines are left to nature after the grapes have formed, as the hot sun and drying wind are sufficient to keep down adverse vegetation.

The grapes ripen towards the middle or end of August. The commanderia grapes are collected and spread upon the flat mud-plastered roofs of the native houses, and are exposed for several days, until they show symptoms of shrivelling in the skin, and the stalks have partially dried: they are then pressed. By this time many of the grapes that have been bruised by this rough treatment have fermented, and the dust and dirt of the house-top, together with flies and other insects, have adhered to the impure heap. It has been imagined by some travellers that the grapes are purposely dried before pressing; on the other hand, I have been assured by the inhabitants that their only reason for heaping and exposing their crop upon the house-tops is the danger of leaving it to ripen in the vineyard. None of the plots are fenced, and before the grapes are sufficiently ripe for pressing they are stolen in large quantities, or destroyed by cattle, goats, mules, and every stray animal that is attracted to the fields. The owner of the vineyard accordingly gathers his crop by degrees, a little before the proper time, and the grapes are exposed upon the house-tops to ripen artificially in the sun. In this manner the quality is seriously damaged; but the natives will not acknowledge it any more than the Devonshire farmers, who leave their apples in heaps upon the ground for many weeks, rotting and wasp-eaten, before they are carried to the pound for the grinding of cider. The grapes, having been trodden by men with large boots, are pressed, and the juice of the commanderia is placed in jars capable of holding from seventy to one hundred gallons. The refuse of skins and stalks is laid upon one side to ferment for the manufacture of raki, or spirit, by distillation. The fermentation of the juice proceeds in the earthen jars, and is guided according to the ideas of the proprietor; when he considers that it has continued to a degree sufficient for the strength and quality of the wine, it is checked by the addition of powdered gypsum. Here is one of the patent errors of the manufacture of commanderia as a wine suitable to English tastes. The grape-juice is naturally so rich in saccharine, that it is luscious and vapid to an excess; this superabundant amount of sugar would be converted into alcohol in the natural process of fermentation if unchecked, and by the chemical change the wine would gain in strength and lose in sweetness. Should this process be adopted, the result would no longer represent the wine now accepted as commanderia, which finds a ready market in the Levant, owing to its peculiar sweetness and rich flavour, although disagreeable to Europeans; there would accordingly be a risk attending such experiments, which the grower would consider unnecessary, as he already commands the sale.

The large jars in which the wine ferments are porous and unglazed; the usual waterproofing is adopted, in the shape of tar, with which the inside is thickly coated. There are many jars of a century old, which have lost the flavour by extreme age, and have become liquid-proof by the choking of the pores with the crust deposited by the wine; these are highly prized, and the wine after fermentation is left upon its own lees to ripen; or, according to our ideas, it is entirely neglected. It is never racked into other vessels.

There is an unusual peculiarity in commanderia; instead of the colour becoming paler by great age, it deepens to an extraordinary degree. The new wine is the ordinary tint of sherry, but it gradually becomes darker, until after forty or fifty years it is almost black, with the syrup-like consistence of new honey. Wine of this age and quality is much esteemed, and is worth a fancy price. I was presented with several bottles of the famous old Cyprus growths of commanderia, morocanella, and muscadine, by the kindness of Mr. Lanites, who is largely interested in the trade at Limasol. The old commanderia was sufficiently sweet to occasion a roughness in the throat, and each quality was far too luscious for English taste, but might have been agreeable to sip like Tokay, by soaking a sponge biscuit. The utterly rude method of producing native wines, which can scarcely be dignified by the term "manufacture," is a sufficient explanation of their inferior quality, but at the same time it is a proof of the great wine-producing power of Cyprus, where, in spite of ignorance and neglect, an extensive commerce has been established, which adds materially to the revenue of the island. If these badly-made wines have founded an important trade, there is every reason to expect a corresponding extension when scientific principles shall have resulted in a superior quality.

The black wines receive even less care than the commanderia; the grapes are trodden, and are thrown into receptacles to ferment, together with the skins and stalks. This bruised mass, after lying a certain time exposed to fermentation, is pressed, and the muddy juice is stowed in the large tarred jars to ripen for a few months, which, according to Cyprian taste, are sufficient to prepare it for consumption. The stalks and black skins, being extremely rich in tannin, have imparted to the wine a powerful astringency and the exceedingly dark colour which so disagreeably distinguish this common quality. The growers imagine that the extra amount of tannin is preservative, without which, their wine might deteriorate during the rough treatment to which it is subjected by transport and exposure; and to their specially-educated palates this astringency is agreeable, combined with the strong flavour of tar, which completely excludes it from the consumption of Englishmen. Neither the commanderia nor any other quality of wine is subjected to the process of "fining;" when issued from the stores of the merchant, therefore, a really bright clear wine is never met with. The black wines could be considerably improved by allowing them to settle in large vats, and by a series of rackings into other vessels, as they become clearer by depositing their impurities. I have tried this experiment upon a small scale with success, and there can be no doubt that the simple manual labour of drawing off the clear wine to enable it to fine itself by precipitating the albuminous matter that has been fixed by the superabundant tannin, would render the "mavro," or black wine, drinkable; always excepting the presence of tar, which can at once be avoided by the substitution of casks for the earthen jars and goat-skins.

At the expiration of the vintage the vines remain uncared-for throughout the autumn and winter, cattle and goats invade them ad libitum so long as their leaves are attractive, and no operation is performed until the month of March. At this time they are pruned close to the stocks, which are generally about one foot above the ground, and two eyes are supposed to be left upon each spur. But I have watched the cultivators during the process, and observed the usual neglect; sometimes the spurs were shaved off completely, without a bud for next year's shoot, and at others too many buds were left, that would weaken and disfigure the parent stem. The instrument for pruning was similar to a very small reaping-hook, with a handle about a foot in length, and the delicate operation was conducted with a rapidity that rendered the necessary care impossible. After the clearing of the refuse the land is carefully ploughed and cleaned.

I visited some large wine-stores in Larnaca, where casks of about 300 gallons each were arranged in long parallel rows, all filled with commanderia of various ages and corresponding prices.

Having now traced the liquor from the original vineyard into the merchant's store, it will be interesting to examine the network of obstructions and extortions to which the unfortunate wine-grower is exposed before he can deliver his produce into the hands of the merchant, either at Limasol or elsewhere.

Consul Riddell reported officially in 1875 as follows:—

"The wine trade of Cyprus was last year exceptionally large, owing to the abundant produce of the vineyards in 1874. The outcome of grapes and wines in 1875 did not exceed an ordinary average, and growers still complain loudly that the imposts upon wines, reckoning from the grape to the vat, are so heavy—amounting to about 35 or 40 per cent.—and their imposition and collection so very arbitrary and unequal, that many vineyards are being abandoned.

"The government, it is said, have under consideration the anomalous state of the wine trade in Cyprus, with a view to relieve and redress the many grievances of which consumers complain, and in the meanwhile the collection of the imposts is suspended. Should the result prove to be the elaboration of a fair, reasonable, and consistent scale of duties, the revival of the wine trade may be reasonably looked forward to, and under sound regulations and intelligent fostering the trade would undoubtedly become a large and profitable one to this island."

    In 1876, the year following the promised reform,
    Consul Pierides reports:—

"The quantity of all sorts of wine produced was much below that of 1875. The principal shipments were made to Trieste and Venice. The collection of the imposts, which was for a short time suspended, has recommenced, and the manner in which it is conducted is still arbitrary and vexatious, while remonstrances have hitherto been of no avail. It is time for the government to put an end to these grievances, which indeed threaten to destroy one of the best resources of the island."

In 1877 Consul Watkins reports:—

"The manufacture of wine here is greatly on the decrease; for, owing to all sorts of unreasonable regulations, and to the vexatious mode of their application, cultivators now prefer making their grapes into raisins."

Here we have consecutive official reports from three different British consuls during 1875-1877. The British occupation took place in 1878—I am writing in 1879—and although the grievances of the Cyprian wine-growers were sufficiently aggravated to call for the vigorous reports and protests of three different British consuls during the Turkish administration, no amelioration of their condition has been effected during twelve months of British rule.

Captain Savile, in his excellent digest of all that concerns this island, writes:—

"The grievances connected with the culture of the vines and the manufacture of wine which are alluded to in the consular reports, existed as long ago as 1863, and were then mentioned by Consul White, who says that the peasants were even then beginning to find it more profitable to sell their grapes, or to make them into raisins, rather than, by turning them into wine, to subject themselves to the duty lately imposed over and above the tithe and export duties, which were collected in a very harassing manner. The growers have had to pay, under the tax called `dimes,' an eighth part of the produce of grapes to the treasury; but this could not be taken in kind, so a money value was fixed yearly by the local medjlis, or fixed tribunal; but as the assessment was based on the market-price at the chief town of the district, instead of the value at the place of growth, this tax, instead of being about 12.5 per cent., in reality amounted to over 20 per cent. Then again when the wine was made, an excise duty of 10 per cent. was levied, and on export, a tax of 8 per cent. had to be paid. The natural consequence of these excessive impositions has been the diminution of a culture for which the island is particularly adapted. Consul Lang suggests that it might be wise to free this production from all tax, except a proper export duty."

How easy it is to be generous at the expense of others!—here are (including Consuls White and Lang) no less than five British consuls who have been protesting against this instance of oppression and injustice since the year 1862, and it would naturally have been expected that one of our first acts upon assuming the government of Cyprus would have been to abolish an abuse that had excited the remonstrances of our own representatives. The fact is that we were reduced to a financial ebb of the gravest character by the absorption at Constantinople of an unfair proportion of the revenue, and our government was not in a position to risk a reduction of income by such an important change in the system of taxation. The Cypriotes have nevertheless derived a collateral advantage from the change of rulers, as the extreme grievances to which the consular reports allude were aggravated by the farmers of taxes, who no longer exist. These people were extortioners of the worst description, and the bribes and extra payments extracted from the vine-growers are represented in the gross sum mentioned as amounting to 40 per cent. upon the general produce of the vineyard. The reforms already established by the abolition of the nefarious system of tax-farming have relieved the vine-growers from the most serious oppression, but sufficient abuses remain to demand a radical change, if the industry for which Cyprus is specially adapted by nature is to be encouraged.

As I have described in outline the rude method of cultivation and the manufacture of wine from the first bursting of the young vines, I will now examine the system of arbitrary interference to which the vine- grower is exposed through the successive stages of his employment.

The first tax is perfectly fair, as it is calculated according to the rateable value of the land, which is divided into three classes. These qualities of soil vary in the valuation from

 No. 1 = 500 piastres the donum (about half an acre) to
 No. 3 = 100 piastres the donum

The malliea, or annual tax upon these valuations per donum, is 2 per cent.

When the grapes are nearly ripe, they must be valued before the proprietor has a right to gather his crop. He is obliged to present himself at the government office at Limasol, many miles from his estate, to petition for the attendance of the official valuer, called the "mahmoor," upon a certain day. This may or may not be granted, but at all events one or two days have been expended in the journey.

Should the mahmoor arrive, which he frequently does not, at the appointed time, the medjlis, or council of the villages, appoints a special arbitrator to represent their (the vine-growers) interests, and he accompanies the government official during his examination of the vineyards. After a certain amount of haggling and discussion, an approximate weight of grapes is agreed upon, the mahmoor declaring the ultimate amount far above the actual crop per donum: and the tax is determined according to their quality, resolved into two classes:—

 No. 1, the commanderia, and other superior varieties, pay 25 paras the oke.
 No. 2, all other grapes pay 16 paras the oke.

But these taxes. are modified according to the abundance and quality of the grapes in each successive season, being sometimes more or less than the figures given. The crop is generally ripe towards the end of August, and the tax, having been determined, may be paid during the following January, March, or May.

The grapes having been officially valued, and the rate of taxation established, the proprietor may gather his crop, and press it for wine. The rows of enormous jars are at length filled: eventually the wine is ready for sale.

Now comes the necessity for a second journey to Limasol, perhaps thirty or forty miles distant, to petition for the government official to measure the contents of the jars; without such an examination, no wine can be removed from the stores.

This is another loss of time to the grower, and occasions an expense for himself and mule for the journey.

The jars are at length measured; but before any wine can be removed a general examination of the quality of the district produce must be completed, and, an average value having been determined, the tax of 10 per cent. must be paid ad valorem.

After these necessary forms have been gone through, with the attendant vexatious delays and expensive journeys, entailing loss of time for men and mules, the vine-grower wishes to carry his wine to market.

Before a drop can be removed he must present himself at the official quarters, either at Kilani or one other village, to obtain a teskeri, or permit, for the quantity that he wishes to convey. After this trouble and delay he returns to his home with the official permit to remove to a specified place (generally Limasol) a fixed quantity of wine, which is calculated by the load; one load equals 128 okes of 2.75 lbs. avoirdupois, and, packed in goat-skins, is carried by two mules.

The vine-grower himself weighs his wine when the skins are filled, and he starts upon his long journey over steep mountain rocky paths to Limasol, where he will sell his load to the wine-merchant, who subsequently will ship it to the various ports of the Mediteranean.

The sun is burning; and the wine, contained in tarry goat-skins, is, after a few hours' exposure to the heat, about the temperature of the hottest bath; thus absorbing the vile smells of the primitive but secure package. The owner is well aware that the value of his wine will depend upon the flavour, therefore he hurries his mules forward, in order to deliver it as quickly as possible to the merchant, before it shall be contaminated by the skins.

Upon arrival at Limasol it may be late, and nothing can be done. His wine must be weighed by the government official at the public weighing-place, specially assigned for the wine trade; and he drives his laden and tired mules to the yard. Here he finds some hundreds of mules and their proprietors in a similar position to himself; however, there is no help for it, and they must be patient through the night while their wine is imbibing the hateful flavour of the goat-skins. In the meantime they must purchase food for their mules and seek quarters for themselves.

When the morning appears the government official has enough to do, and as a certain time must be occupied in weighing a given quantity, the day wears away. Every man has to present his teskeri, or permit, for removal from his village to Limasol of a specified quantity of wine, and his load must weigh that prescribed weight upon delivery. His scales may not have been exactly in harmony with those of the government official; but should the quantity exceed the teskeri, the owner must pay DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF TAXATION.

In the meantime, during the wrangles concerning discrepancies in weight, mules are arriving with their loads, their owners all desirous of despatch, and the hours fast wearing away. The next day is probably a Greek holiday, and all the merchants' stores are shut (there is a Greek holiday at least once a week,—generally twice). The unfortunate vine-grower, after waiting patiently in despair, discovers that he must wait still longer. At length, after vexations and delays, he draws a sample of wine into a gourd-shell from his skins, and hands it to the merchant; who, having made a wry face and spat it out, advises him to "throw his wine into the sea, as it is undrinkable," having remained too long in the goat-skins exposed to the sun. A most respectable informant related to me the total loss of a large quantity of first-class wine from the delay thus occasioned at Limasol. . . .

The refuse, after pressing the grapes, is calculated to yield upon distillation a proportion of 100 okes of spirit for every ten loads (1280 okes) of wine. This pays a tax of eight paras the oke, which, added to the 10 per cent. upon the wine, makes a total of 15 per cent. upon wine and spirit included.

The vine-grower, irrespective of the size of his vineyard, is allowed 200 okes duty free for his own consumption; and when his jars are measured to determine the contents for taxation an allowance is deducted for the muddy deposit at the bottom.

It will at once be seen by this enumeration of the delays and vexations occasioned by this arbitrary system, that it is barely possible for the vine-grower to calculate the actual cost of his wine, as the loss of time, expense of journeys, and uncertainty of the amount of delays are entirely beyond his control. It is therefore extremely difficult to discover the exact financial position of the cultivator, but from the data in my possession it is nearly as follows:—

One donum of land, which is supposed to measure a square of fifty yards, would be about half an English acre; and this area is calculated to yield an average of one load and a half of wine = 192 okes = 528 lbs.

The value of the ordinary wine of the country will average about 90 piastres the load, wholesale price; therefore one donum will represent a gross value of I.5 load at 90 .. = 135 piastres (Cr.)

Against this annual produce the natives calculate as follows:—

                                                  Piastres.
Per donum—Expenses of cultivating the
        land, i.e. ploughing, weeding, &c. . . . . . . 25
Pruning vines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Gathering crop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Feeding labourers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Carriage of wine to market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
TOTAL government dues, including malliea . . . . . . . 25
                                                      ___ ___
                                                (Dr.) 105 135 (Cr.)

This leaves a balance in favour of the producer of only 30 piastres, about 5 shillings per donum.

But it must be remembered that in the above calculation his own personal labour has not been considered; neither the wear and tear of implements, jars, loss by accidents of seasons, when the wine turns sour, neither is any margin allowed for extraneous casualties.

At first sight the position appears impossible, as a stranger would ask the pertinent question, "Why, if vineyards do not pay, does the owner continue the occupation? Why does he not substitute some other form of cultivation?" The answer is simple. Wherever the conditions of the locality permitted, they have already done so; but vineyards are cultivated where no other crops could grow; upon the sides of inclines so steep that it is even difficult to stand; and these positions, although peculiarly adapted for the cultivation of the vine by reason of the soil, would be absolutely worthless for other uses. The vine requires little water after the young grapes have formed, and the burning sun-light which is favourable for their development would destroy all cereals upon those steep inclinations, where a casual shower, instead of soaking into the earth and nourishing the crops, rushes quickly over the surface and drains superficially into the deep vale below. The land of the vineyards is WINE land, and adapted specially by the quality of the soil and the peculiarity of climate for the production of grapes. In addition to the impossibility of converting this land to other purposes of cultivation would be the loss to the proprietor of all his plant, buildings, jars, &c., &c., which would become valueless.

This is, as well as I can describe the grievances, the real position of the vine-grower. Although since the British occupation he has escaped the extra extortion of the tax-farmer, he is still the slave of petty vexations and delays, which strangle him in red-tape and render his avocation a misery; without profit, leaving only a bare subsistence. What is to be done?

The first necessary change is a system of roads, only sufficiently wide to admit of the native two-wheeled carts, with sidings every half mile to enable them to pass when meeting. Our usual English mistake has been made, in the only two metalled highways that the engineers have constructed in Cyprus, "that everything must be English;" thus we have two costly roads of great width from Larnaca to Lefkosia, and from Limasol to Platraes, which are entirely unsuitable to the requirements of the country; and as there are no branch roads in communication, the people are hardly benefited, as they cannot reach the main artery with wheeled conveyances. The military road from Limasol might as well be a railway without any branch traffic, as it is entirely independent of other roads: thus, should carts be established to convey the wine of the district to Limasol, they must be loaded by mules that will bring the produce from the roadless vineyards in the usual manner by goat-skins, and the wine will be tainted as before. A network of cheap useful cart-tracks can be easily made throughout the wine districts, and they MUST be made before any improvement in the quality of the wines can take place. The goat-skins and the tarred jars must be thrown aside before any change can be expected: these cannot become obsolete until the necessary roads for the conveyance of casks shall be completed.

If we regard the present position of the vine-grower, we must advise him thus:—"The first necessity is to improve your QUALITY, and thus ensure a higher price. It costs no more either in labour or in plant to produce a good wine than to continue your present rude method of production. You may double the value of your wine by an improved system, without adding materially to your expenses; you will then have a large margin for profit, which will increase in the same ratio as the quality of your wine."

The grower will reply, "We must have roads for carts if we are to substitute barrels for goat-skins. So long as the mule-paths are our only routes we must adhere to the skins, which we acknowledge are destructive to the quality of the wine and reduce our profits. Give us roads."

This is a first necessity, and it is simply ridiculous to preach reforms of quality to the cultivators so long as the present savage country remains roadless. It is the first duty of the government to open the entire wine district by a carefully devised system of communication: for which a highway rate could be established for repairs.

If this simple work shall be accomplished the goat-skins will disappear; or should some cultivators cling to the ancient nuisance, a tax could be levied specially upon wine skins, which would ensure their immediate abolition. A new trade would at once be introduced to Cyprus in the importation of staves for casks, and the necessary coopers. The huge jars that are only suggestive of the "Forty Thieves" would be used as water-tanks, and the wine would ripen in casks of several hundred gallons, and be racked off by taps at successive intervals when clear. The first deposit of tannin and fixed albumen would remain at the bottom of No. 1 vat, the second deposit after racking in No. 2; and the wine which is now an astringent, cloudy, and muddy mixture of impurities, would leave the vine-grower's store bright, and fit for the merchant's vats in Limasol, and command a more than double price. This is a matter of certainty and not conjecture. Should the black wines be carefully manufactured, they will be extensively used for mixing with thin French wines, as they generally possess strength and body in large proportion to their price.

It will be universally agreed that the making of the roads is the first necessity; but if the island is in such financial misery that so important a step must be deferred, the grievances of the vine-growers should be immediately considered. The first question to the cultivator would be, "What reforms do you yourself suggest?" He replies, "Fix an annual rate per donum, and leave us free to send our wine wherever we choose, without the abominable vexations and delays caused by the present arbitrary system; let the tax per donum include every charge for which we shall be liable: we shall then know at once the limit of our liability." I cannot see any practical difficulty in such an arrangement; a highway rate might be an extra when the roads should be completed. A small export duty at the various ports would become a material source of increase to the revenue when the wine trade became invigorated and extended by government encouragement, and although such a duty would indirectly affect the grower in the price which the merchant would pay for the new wine, it would be a collateral tax that would not be felt individually.

Unless the present oppressive system shall be abolished the wine trade of Cyprus will languish, and an industry that may be profitably extended to an important degree will share the fate of a commercial and agricultural depression which has resulted from the vague conditions of the British occupation, and from which no recovery can be expected until confidence in the future prospects of the island shall be established.

CHAPTER XI.

FROM LIMASOL TO THE MOUNTAINS.

The barley harvest was in active operation, and the fields around our camp were crowded with men, women, and children, all hard at work, but producing small results compared with an equal expenditure of European labour. Their sickles were large and good, but a great proportion of the crops were either broken off by hand or were dragged out by the roots, and the earth that adhered was carelessly dusted off by a blow against the reaper's boots. In this dry climate there was no necessity for piling the sheaves, but the small bundles were at once laden upon donkeys and also conveyed in the two-wheeled carts to the threshing- ground, upon which it would remain until valued for taxation by the government official. In the dry atmosphere of Cyprus, Syria, Egypt, &c., the straw breaks easily, and beneath the sharp flints of the ancient threshing-harrow in present use is quickly reduced to the coarse chaff known as "tibbin," which forms the staple article of food for horses and all cattle. Taking advantage of the numbers of people congregated in the fields, some itinerant gipsies with a monkey and performing bears were camped beneath the caroub-trees, about half a mile from our position. The bears were the Syrian variety. Throughout Cyprus the gipsies are known as tinners of pots and makers of wooden spoons, which seems to be the normal occupation of their tribe throughout the world; they have also a character for a peculiar attachment to fowls and any other small matters that belong to private individuals which may be met with during their wanderings.

The beans of the caroub-trees were already large, and promised a good crop in spite of the dry weather. The roots of these evergreens penetrate to a great depth, and obtain nourishment from beneath when the surface soil is perished by drought. I have never seen a caroub overthrown by the wind, although the extremely large head that is at all seasons covered with leaves must offer a great resistance. The fruit of this tree (Ceratonia siliqua) is already an important export from Cyprus, and if the cultivation is encouraged there can be no doubt of an enormous extension of the trade. The tree is indigenous to the island, but in its wild state is unproductive; it simply requires grafting to ensure a crop. The wild young trees are generally transplanted into the desired positions, and then grafted from the cultivated species, but there is no reason why they should not be grafted in situ. The olives, which are also indigenous, might be treated in a similar manner to render the crown-lands productive, which are now mere jungles of shrubs and trees in their natural state. I shall reserve further remarks upon this subject for a chapter specially devoted to "Woods and Forests."

The caroub at present commands an extensive market. The fruit is usually known commercially as the "locust-bean;" the taste is a compound of treacle and Spanish liquorice, and would generally be appreciated by children, monkeys, pigs, and cattle. The Cassia fistula of Ceylon resembles it somewhat in flavour, but the Ceratonia siliqua is free from the medicinal properties of the former tree. Since the government monopoly was abolished in 1827 the trade has received an impetus, and this extension due to freedom is an example to our present government in their relations to the oppressive system connected with the wine trade.

According to the consular reports the crop of 1872 was about 10,000 tons, which sold free on board at 4 pounds 10 shillings per ton. At that time the chief purchaser was Russia, and the locust-beans were exported to various positions upon the Black Sea. In 1875 England became a large consumer, and I believe the well-known "Thorley's Patent Food for Cattle" contains a considerable amount of this nutritive substance. The influence upon the market of a demand from England raised the exports in 1875 to 18,000 tons. A fluctuation took place in 1876, and although the crop was deficient, the prices fell to 2 pounds 13 shillings 6 pence per ton free on board. This reaction was probably due to the large stocks on hand in England, purchased at a high rate, from 4 pounds 10 shillings to 5 pounds per ton, which had driven Russian competition out of the market; therefore the 1876 gathering found but few purchasers. In 1877 the yield was 13,500 tons, and the price rose from 2 pounds 13 shillings 6 pence to 3 pounds 5 shillings and at length to 4 pounds per ton, free on board.

The average produce of a tree, taking the mean of all sizes, would be about 84 lbs. or three-quarters of a hundredweight; allowing the mean crop of five years to be 13,000 tons, this would give the number of productive trees in Cyprus as 346,666, or in round numbers 350,000, which, at eight trees to the acre = 43,750 acres of caroub-trees. I do not think as a rule that a larger number than eight trees are to be found upon an acre, as it is the custom to cultivate cereals upon the same ground, therefore the caroubs are thinly planted. This calculation cannot be accepted as exhibiting the actual position of the trees, as a very large proportion are not planted in order, but grow independently and promiscuously, and are productive simply as originally wild trees that have been grafted. Should Cyprus belong bona-fide to England, machinery for crushing and pressing the locust-beans will be established on the spot, which, by compressing the bulk, will reduce the freight and materially lessen the price when delivered in England. In travelling through Cyprus nothing strikes the observation of the traveller more forcibly than the neglect of tree-planting. The caroub is an indigenous production volunteering its services to man, and producing an important revenue; there are immense tracts of land which by their rocky nature are unfit for the general purposes of husbandry, at the same time the rich soil in the interstices is eminently adapted for the cultivation of the caroub. Such lands are at the present moment abandoned to a growth of jungle, among which this irrepressible tree dominates all other vegetation, but in its wild state remains unproductive. The neighbourhood of Limasol is for many miles richly ornamented by these welcome shade-producers, and presents an example of what other portions of the island might become.

During my stay at Limasol I was several times invaded by a crowd of people from a neighbouring village, with complaints upon an assumed injustice connected with their water-supply. It was in vain that I assured them of my unofficial capacity; they were determined to have their say, and, according to their threat, to "TELEGRAPH TO VICTORIA," unless they could obtain redress. I referred them to Colonel Warren, R.A., the chief commissioner of their district, who had already been sufficiently perplexed with their case. It appeared that a stream flowing from the mountains had nearly two centuries ago been diverted into an artificial channel by the inhabitants of Kolossi and others for the purpose of irrigating the various lands in succession, according to the gradations of their levels. This water had become a right, and the value of all lands thus irrigated had been appraised in proportion. According to their story, some years ago a Greek who commanded capital purchased an estate at Kolossi; and having made a journey to Constantinople, where he remained for some years, he took the opportunity of bribing some high officials to obtain for him an irade from the Sultan, giving him the entire right to the water-supply, which had for so great a length of time been the acknowledged property of the neighbouring landholders. This irade was issued upon the plea that all natural waters (i.e. streams) belong to the Sultan. A wide field for litigation was thus opened, and the Greek, having more than the usual allowance of "the wisdom of the serpent," lost no time in investing large sums in the corruption of all those who would be summoned as local witnesses whenever the case should be brought before the ordinary tribunals. The result was that after great expense in the costs of litigation, an appeal to the superior court during the British administration had been favourable to the plaintiffs, and the Greek proprietor was held to be legally in possession of all water-rights, to the exclusion of the original owners. He, however offered to supply them with water for their farms at a fixed rate; whereas they had hitherto enjoyed that free right for upwards of a century. This loss, or abstraction, of so important a supply, upon which the actual existence of the farms depended in seasons of drought, not only impoverished the cultivators during the present year of famine, but reduced the value of their land to an enormous extent, as farms with a water-supply are worth more than quadruple the price of those which are dependent upon the seasons. Of course I could not help the poor people; it appeared to my uneducated sense of equity to be the maximum of injustice. The question hung upon the Sultan's right to the natural water-supply, which I believe has been officially declared invalid; by what other right the monopoly of the water had been conveyed away from the original proprietors I could not understand. The Greek was not enjoying his victory in absolute peace of mind, as the neighbouring farmers avenged their legal defeat by cutting holes in the embankments of his watercourses, and thereby nightly flooding their own fields, which, as the channels extended for many miles, would have required the presence of more than all the police of the district to discover the offenders. Upon one occasion upwards of forty of these people appeared mounted upon mules around my camp, to urge my intercession on their behalf, declaring their perfect faith in the honour and good intentions of the English authorities, but at the same time lamenting their ignorance of the native language, which threw the entire power into the hands of the dragomans (interpreters), of whose character they spoke in terms which it is to be hoped were highly exaggerated. The people begged me to ride over to the locality, to see with my own eyes the position of affairs; which I arranged to do sine die, and after advising them to exercise a temporary patience, I got rid of the deputation without suggesting "that under the existing agrarian dispute they should let their farms to some enterprising Irish tenants from Tipperary."

I mention this incident, which is one of many others upon the same subject, to exhibit the complications that have always arisen from the contention upon water-rights, that will require some special legislation. . . .

The weather was becoming warm at Limasol, the thermometer ranging from 70 degrees at 7 A.M. to 83 degrees at 3 P.M. There was a trouble in the water-supply, as that for drinking purposes had to be conveyed by donkeys from a distance of three or four miles. The market in the town, although well arranged externally, was governed by peculiarly restrictive municipal regulations; the price of meat and several other articles being fixed at a common standard! According to this absurd rule inferior mutton would fetch an equal price with the best quality: the natural consequence ensued, that only inferior meat was introduced, to the exclusion of all other. The supply of fish was extremely irregular, and they were generally small and dear. Upon some occasions we purchased good red mullet, also a larger fish of the bass species; but there were only a few fishermen, who required an opposition to induce activity and moderate prices. Their nets were made of exceedingly fine twine, and the smallness of the mesh denoted a scarcity of the larger species of fish.

A number of Maltese settlers were arriving, to whom lands had been granted by the government in the neighbourhood of Limasol; this excellent arrangement will have the effect of infusing a new spirit among the people by the introduction of fresh blood, and the well-known fishermen of Malta will of themselves be a boon to the large towns, where a regular demand may be depended upon at a reasonable price.

There was nothing to induce a longer stay at Limasol, and I resolved upon Trooditissa monastery as the position for a mountain residence during the summer months. Upon Kiepert's map, which is the best I have seen of Cyprus, this point was placed among the angles in the various crests and ridges of the Troodos mountain, and was marked by measurement as 4340 feet above the sea-level. The new government road extended from Limasol to Platraes, from which a good mule-path led to the camp prepared for the 20th Regiment and the Royal Engineers at an altitude of 5740 feet. It appeared to me that in north latitude 35 degrees this was an unnecessary elevation. My old residence at Newera Ellia in Ceylon was 6210 feet above the sea in north latitude 6 degrees 30', and in that low latitude we had sharp frosts at night. Any heights approaching 6000 feet in north latitude 35 degrees would, I imagined, become disagreeably chilly in the morning and evening, at seasons when in the low country the heat would still be too oppressive for a return from the mountain sanatorium.

The mean temperature at Limasol from 1st May to 18th had been at 7 A.M. 65 degrees, at 3 P.M. 78.6 degrees, during which interval there had been sudden variations of temperature, ranging from a minimum of 56 degrees to 84 degrees. On the 11th May, having engaged twenty-three mules for our tents, baggage, and party, we started from Limasol for Trooditissa. The dog Merry, that had been bitten by the snake, had lain for days in a state of stupor, black and swollen; I had poured quantities of olive-oil down his throat, as he could not eat, and at length I gave him a dose of two grains of calomel, with three grains of emetic tartar. After this he slowly recovered; the ear that was bitten mortified, and was cut off, but the dog was sufficiently restored to accompany us upon the march, together with his companion Wise. We were now about to enter the great vine-growing district of Cyprus, which produces the large exportations that form the chief industry of Limasol.

At a distance of a mile from our camp we entered the new government road which connected Limasol with Platraes, thirty miles distant. The country quickly assumed an agreeable character; undulations and watercourses were more or less covered with trees, and the road scarped out of the steep sides exhibited the cretaceous formation similar to that between Larnaca and Lefkosia. Wild lavender was just blooming upon many portions of the way, while along the rocky courses of ravines the oleanders were in the richest blossom. The road was furnished with mile-posts, and the mules ambled along at a little more than five miles an hour. I found considerable fault in the low gradients (one in thirty), which had produced a road unnecessary for the vehicles of the country, at a proportionate outlay; it was altogether too good, and would have been excellent trotting-ground for a light phaeton and pair. As there was no such vehicle in the island, the beautifully traced highway exhibited a model of engineering that was scarcely appreciated by the natives, who invariably took the short and direct cuts to avoid the circuitous zigzags in descending the numerous valleys and in rounding the deep ravines. After a ride of twelve miles through a beautiful country, well wooded, and comprising a succession of wild hills and deep gorges, which formed torrents in the wet season, we arrived at a river flowing in a clear but extremely shallow and narrow stream beneath cliffs of cretaceous limestone. The banks were richly clad with rosy oleanders, myrtles, mastic shrubs; and the shade of several fine old plane-trees in full foliage invited us at once to halt immediately upon the edge of the rippling stream. This spot was known as Zigu, where an ancient stone bridge, with pointed arches, crossed the ravine about a hundred paces above the new wooden bridge erected by the Royal Engineers. This was a most charming spot for luncheon, and the dense shade of the planes was far more agreeable than the shelter of a wooden military hut that stood upon the height above and by no means improved the beauty of the view. Our dogs seemed to enjoy the change, and raced up and down the river's bed, delighted with the cold water from the mountains, fresh from the highest springs of Troodos Some cold roast pigeons, young and fat, and some hard-boiled eggs, formed our luncheon, together with bread and cheese. These were quickly despatched and the carpets being spread beneath the trees, an hour's nap was good for man while the mules rolled and then dozed in luxury upon the turf-like surface of the glen. I was awakened by the clatter of horse's hoofs, and Mr. Allen, the chief officer of the police of Limasol, appeared, having most kindly ridden after us with the post just arrived from England. Unfortunately not a crumb of luncheon remained, the dogs having swallowed our leavings. We now saddled, and continued the journey upon the firm surface of the new road.

When about fourteen miles from Limasol we entered upon a grand scene, which exhibited the commencement of the wine-producing district. The road was scarped from the mountain side several hundred feet above the river, which murmured over its rocky bed in the bottom of the gorge. We were skirting a deep valley, and upon either side the mountains rose to a height of about 1400 feet, completely covered with vineyards from the base to the summit; this long vale or chasm extended to the Troodos range, which towered to upwards of 6000 feet, at a distance of about fourteen miles immediately in our front. The vines were all green with their early foliage, and the surface of the hill-sides was most cheering, contrasting with the yellow plain we had left at Limasol.

The good road rendered travelling delightful after the stony paths that we had traversed for some months in Cyprus, and the time passed so rapidly that we could hardly believe the distance marked upon the nineteenth milestone, where it was necessary to halt for the arrival of our baggage animals. After waiting till nearly dark we found they had quitted the new road and preferred a short cut across country, which had led them to the village of Menagria down in the glen nearly a mile below us. We walked down the steep hill and joined the party, pitched the tent, and made ready for the night.

On the following morning, instead of adhering to the new road, we descended to the bottom of the gorge and crossed the river near some water-mills, as the bridge was not yet completed in the distant angle of the glen. We now ascended an exceedingly steep hill from the river's bed, which severely tried our animals, until, after passing a succession of cereal crops and vineyards, we arrived at the summit, about 1200 feet above the valley. From this point the view was magnificent. The pine-covered sides of Troodos appeared close before us, and a valley stretched away to our right richly clothed with trees below the steep vine-covered sides of the surrounding mountains. Keeping to our left and passing through several insignificant villages, we commenced a most dangerous descent, with an occasional deep precipice on the right of the extremely narrow path, until we reached a contracted but verdant glen. This was a remarkable change: we had suddenly entered one of those picturesque vales for which Devonshire is famous. The vegetation had changed to that of Europe, as we were now nearly 3000 feet above the sea. Apple and pear trees of large size were present, not in orchards, but growing independently as though wild. Dog-roses of exquisite colour were in full bloom, and reminded us of English hedges. Beautiful oak-trees scattered upon the green surface gave a park-like appearance to the scene, and numerous streams of clear water rippled though the myrtle-covered banks, over the deep brown rocks of the plutonic formation, which had now succeeded to the cretaceous limestone.

It was a curious geological division, limited by the glen: on the left, the hills and mountains were the usual white marls and cretaceous limestone; while on the right everything was plutonic or granitic, including gneiss, syenite, and metamorphous rocks of various characters. The soil of the glen was red, and the villages, built of sun-baked bricks of this colour, harmonised with the dark green of rich crops of wheat that had been irrigated by the never-failing water-power. We had now rejoined the English road, which passed along the bottom of the glen, and which was yet incomplete; several gangs of men were working at intervals, and in the scarps, where deep cuttings had been necessary, I remarked a considerable amount of ironstone.

A few miles through this interesting scenery brought us to the village of Mandria, where a strong working party was engaged in erecting a wooden bridge upon masonry piers. We now turned off to the left, over rough but richly-wooded hills, leaving the English road, which extended direct to Platraes, as our course was altered towards the large village of Phyni, situated at the foot of the Troodos mountain. There could hardly be a worse or more dangerous path over the high and precipitous hills; these were once more cretaceous, and in wet weather must be as slippery as soap. In many places the path was hardly nine inches wide, with a deep gorge beneath for at least 150 feet. At length we passed over the crest, and looked down upon Phyni, in the vine-covered dell below. As far as the eye could reach upon all directions for many miles, hill-sides, valleys, and mountains exceeding 4000 feet were entirely covered with vines; not a yard of soil was unoccupied by this important branch of cultivation. Immediately before us, on the other side of Phyni, in the dark hollow, was the base of Troodos, from which the mountain rose so steeply that it appeared impossible to ascend with mules. A narrow line was pointed out upon the thickly bush-covered sides of the mountain, and we were informed that we should reach Trooditissa monastery by that path. I thought there must be some mistake in the interpretation; however we dismounted, and preferred walking down the steep zigzags that led to Phyni, half hidden in masses of bright green foliage of various fruit-trees, now exactly at our feet.

This was a very peculiar village, as the broad flat roofs of the houses formed terraces; upon these you could at once walk from the steep hill-slope, into which the houses were inserted by scarping out a level space for a foundation. The effect was remarkable, as the house-roofs, in lines, seemed like flights of steps upon the mountain side. We halted at the first decent-looking dwelling and rested beneath the shade of an apricot-tree within a small courtyard. The people at once assembled, and the owner of the house brought us black wine and raki of his own make; the latter he was now engaged in distilling, and some pigs were revelling in the refuse that had been thrown in a heap below the window of the store. This man was proud of his wine, as it was tolerably free from the taste of tar; the jars, having been more than fifty years in constant use, had lost the objectionable flavour. We were thirsty and hot, therefore the wine was not disagreeable, and we lunched beneath the apricot.

After an hour's rest the real up-hill work commenced. We crossed a broad channel of running water beneath groves of green trees, and entered a path on the opposite side of the village; this skirted a deep and precipitous gorge, through which the river flowed from the high and dark ravine that cleft the mountain from the ssummit to the bottom. A water-mill was at work below us on the right; and always ascending along the side of the ravine, with the rushing sound of the stream below, we arrived after half a mile at the base of the apparently impossible route. Right and left, right and left, went the short and sharp zigzags, the path covered with rolling stones and loose rocks, which clattered under the feet of the tired mules and rolled down the steep inclines. The sound of the stream below became fainter, and the narrow angle of the deep cleft grew darker, as we ascended. We looked down upon the rounded tops of various trees, including the rich verdure of planes, which skirted the banks of the hidden stream, and we entered upon pines rising from an under-growth of beautiful evergreens, including the fragrant tremithia, the light green foliage of the arbutus, with its bright red bark contrasting strongly with the dark shade of the dense and bushy ilex. The mastic was there, and as we increased our altitude the Pinus laricio and Pinus maritima varied the woods by their tall spars, beneath which a perfect garden of flowers almost covered the surface of the earth; these included the white and purple cistus, dog- roses, honeysuckle, and several varieties unknown to me. Among the ornamental dwarfs were a quantity of the Sumach, which is an article of export from Cyprus for the use of the tanner and dyer.

The view became very beautiful as we ascended, until at length, after a couple of miles of the steepest zigzags, we turned a corner of the rocks and looked down the great depth at our right, below the path, upon the long white thread of a waterfall, which for some hundred feet of a severe incline, broken by occasional plunges, issues from the rocky cleft, and forms the river in the ravine below. "There is the monastery of Trooditissa!" exclaimed our guide. About 200 feet above our level, snugly nested among splendid walnut-trees in the dark angle of the mountains, were the grey and brown gables, half concealed by the rich foliage of plane-trees, walnuts, mulberry, and other varieties.

About half a mile from this point of view the mules scrambled up one of the worst portions of the route, and we arrived at a clear and cold spring issuing suddenly from the rocks through a stone spout, protected by an arch of masonry: this was received in a rude wooden trough formed from the trunk of a hollowed pine, and overflowed across the path to water some terraced gardens immediately below. A walnut and a fig-tree intermingled their branches above the arch, and formed an agreeable shade to shelter weary travellers, who might sit by the welcome spring after toiling up the rough mountain side. About eighty yards beyond, by a level path, we reached the widest-spreading walnut-tree that I have ever seen; the new foliage was soft and uninjured by the wind, producing a dense shade over an area sufficient for numerous tents. This magnificent specimen of vegetation grew upon the edge of an abrupt descent, perpendicular to a series of gardens, all terraced out to a depth of about 150 feet, to the bottom of a narrow gorge; thus one-half of the branches overhung the steep, while the other half shaded a portion of the monastery courtyard.

We halted and dismounted beneath this grand old tree, where the picturesque but not clean old monk, with some of his ecclesiastics, were ready to meet us with a courteous welcome.

CHAPTER XII.

THE MONASTERY OF TROODITISSA.

The monastery of Trooditissa had no architectural pretensions; it looked like a family of English barns that had been crossed with a Swiss chalet. The roofs of six separate buildings of considerable dimensions were arranged to form a quadrangle, which included the chapel, a long building at right angles with the quadrangle, which had an upper balcony beneath the roof, so as to form a covered protection to a similar arrangement below, and an indescribable building which was used by the monks as their store for winter provisions. The staircases were outside, as in Switzerland, and entered upon the open-air landings or balconies; these were obscure galleries, from which doors led to each separate apartment, occupied by the monks and fleas. The obscurity may appear strange, as the balconies were on the outside, but the eaves of the roof at an angle of about 48 degrees projected some feet as a protection from the winter's snow, and occasioned a darkness added to the gloom of blueish grey gneiss which formed the walls and the deep brownish red of the tiled roof.

The great walnut-tree overshadowed a portion of the mule stables that formed a continuation of the building, and faced the exterior courtyard, which was inclosed upon two sides of the square, in the centre of which was an arched entrance to the inner court. This doorway was beneath a covered gallery, and the ground floor formed a well-protected verandah, from which a magnificent view was commanded down the great gorge towards Phyni, overlooking the lower mountain tops to a sea horizon beyond the peninsula of Akrotiri and the salt lake of Limasol.

The covered gallery above this verandah was supported by stone pillars with exceedingly rude capitals, upon which long beams of the native pines, laid horizontally, supported the joists and floors. It was a dull and dirty abode, and at first sight I was disappointed. The angle of the mountain in which the monastery stood was formed by a ravine which intercepted the principal gorge at almost a right angle, thus a path which continued at the same level from the courtyard to the other side of the ravine, represented the letter V laid horizontally. From the walnut-tree across the broad base of the letter would be about a hundred yards, to a series of cultivated terraces upon an equal level.

This might have been made a lovely station, as no less than three springs of water issued from the mountain side in various positions: the first already mentioned; the second on the further side of the letter V, beneath another splendid walnut-tree; and the third upon the same level beyond, which fell into a trough beneath a large trellis, upon which some vines were trained to produce a shade.

The terraces formed an angular amphitheatre, the outer courtyard of the monastery being the highest level, looking down upon tree-tops of planes and pines throughout the dark gorge to Phyni. The gardens appeared much neglected; they were overcrowded with fruit-trees, including filberts, mulberry, pears, apples, figs, walnuts, plums; the only grape-vine was represented upon the trellis; the position was too high for apricots.

An Englishman's first idea is improvement, and I believe that upon entering heaven itself he would suggest some alteration. This was not heaven, but, as a monastery, it was the first step, and a very high one for this world, being 4340 feet above the sea. We began by cleaning, and I should have liked to have engaged Hercules, at the maximum of agricultural wages, to have cleaned the long line of mule stables, a dignified employment for which the hero-god was famous; the Augean were a joke to them. Piles of manure and filth of every description concealed the pavement of the capacious outer yard of the monastery. The narrow path by which we had arrived from the spring was a mere dung-heap, from which the noxious weeds called docks, of Brobdignagian proportions, issued in such dense masses that an agricultural meeting of British farmers would have been completely hidden by their great enemy. The priests or monks had filthy habits; it would have been impossible for civilised people to have existed in this accumulation of impurities, therefore we at once set to work. I had a spade and pickaxe, and we borrowed some other tools from the monks, among which were strong grubbers (which combined the hoe and the pick). There were a number of people belonging to the monastery, including some young embryo priests, that we might accept as deacons; these I set to work with the pickaxe at one shilling a day wages. The boys who were being educated for the Church I employed in removing all the loose stones which choked the surface of the ground, and subsequently in sweeping and scraping the courtyard. I gave them sixpence a day if they worked from early morning, or threepence if they came at noon after their lessons. There was a shepherd's family, upon the hill about 250 feet above the monastery, of seven handsome children, two boys of nineteen and seventeen, and five girls. These were hard at work, even to a pretty little child of four years old, who carried her stones, and swept with a little broom with all her heart (this was little Athena). Of course they were all paid in the evening with bright new threepenny pieces which they had never seen before. Even the priests worked after a few days, when the spirit of industry and new shillings moved them, and in the history of the monastery there could never have been such a stirring picture and such a dust as we made in cleansing and alterations. Nearly a month was occupied in this necessary work, by which time the place was entirely changed. I had made a good road as an approach from the spring, with a covered drain, dignified by the name of an "aqueduct," which led the water when required to a little garden that I had constructed close to the tent, where a nondescript slope had become a receptacle for filth. I had cut this down from the road, and mixed the earth with the accumulated dirt and manure, which I levelled off in successive layers, so that the stream led from the spring would irrigate my beds in succession. This garden was carefully fenced against the intrusion of goats and donkeys, to say nothing of pigs, and it was already sown with tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, barmia, and beet-root. The priests had a grand bed of onions upon a terrace, which was usually occupied by the pigs, goats, and donkeys, as they had been too lazy to arrange a fence.

The docks in the monastery gardens were at least six feet high; I had these cut and collected to thatch the sides of a peculiar shed (in which I am writing at this moment), which was a great comfort and formed a very original retreat, combining a seat in an amphitheatre with a modern summer-house. This was an oblong, of fifteen feet by twelve, erected within three feet of the tent beneath the walnut-tree upon the extreme verge of the abrupt incline. I laid a foundation of stones, which I covered with pounded earth and water, to produce a level with the tent. I then placed horizontally a beam of wood, secured from slipping with stakes driven to the heads into the bank upon the edge of the incline. Upon this a row of large stones was cemented together with mud to form a margin level with the floor, from which the abrupt inclination at once leapt to the lower terraces and the deep gorge, continuing for upwards of 4000 feet to the sea; this was visible beyond the inferior mountain tops.

There was nothing pretty in the arrangement of this "rachkooba," as it would be called in Africa; it was a simple square of upright poles, connected with canes secured across, thatched inside with ferns, and upon the outside with docks, fastened down with the peeled willow-like shoots of mulberry-trees. The mulberry-trees for silkworms are always pollarded annually, and they throw out shoots about seven or nine feet in length every season; the wood is exceedingly tough, and the bark of these wands when stripped is serviceable for tying plants or securing fences in lieu of cord. For lack of silkworms the monastery mulberry-trees had several seasons of growth, and the shoots were serviceable for our work. The ceiling of our opera-box was cloth, with a curtain of about three feet suspended along the front, which broke the morning sun as it topped the high ridge of the mountain on the other side of the gorge, about a thousand feet above us. The shed was carpeted with mats and furnished roughly with a table and chairs; hat-pegs were suspended around, made from the red-barked wood of the arbutus, simply cut so that by inverting the branch with the stem attached to a cord, the twigs, cut at proper lengths, would form convenient hooks.

From this cool hermitage we looked down upon the dense foliage of rounded mulberry-tops and the fruit-trees of the gardens within the gorge, while exactly in our front, a hundred yards across the deep ravine, was the rocky steep of the mountain side, densely clothed with ilex and arbutus, until the still higher altitudes banished all underwood, and the upper ranges of Troodos exhibited a surface of barren rocks clothed with tall pines and cypress, 2000 feet above us.

By the time we had completed our permanent camp a certain degree of improvement had taken place in the people, as well as in the actual cleanliness of the locality. Everybody washed his, or her, face and hands. The customs of the monks had so far reformed that the immediate neighbourhood was no longer offensive. When strangers with mules arrived the road was immediately swept, and upon Saturday evenings a general embellishment took place in honour of the approaching Sunday. The young clergy were remarkably good and active; they worked in my little garden at a shilling a day, went on errands to Platraes and the camp at Troodos, and made themselves generally useful for a most moderate consideration. I can strongly recommend all young curates who are waiting in vain for livings to come and work upon the holy soil of Trooditissa at one shilling per diem; and should they (as curates frequently are) be poor in this world's goods, but nevertheless strong in amorous propensities, and accordingly desirous of matrimony, they will find a refuge within the walls of this monastery from all the temptations of the outer world, far from garden-parties, balls, picnics, church-decorations assisted by young ladies, and all those snares of the Evil One; and the wholesome diet of the monks, including a course of soaked broad-beans and barley bread, with repeated fastings upon innumerable saints' days, will affect them sensibly, both morally and physically; under this discipline they will come to the conclusion that a wife and large family upon an income of 500 pounds a year in England would not confer the same happiness as one shilling a day with the pickaxe, broad-beans and independence, at Trooditissa, which is true "muscular Christianity."

It was extraordinary to see the result of a life-long diet of beans and barley-bread in the persons of the monks, who very seldom indulged in flesh. The actual head of the monastery was a handsome man of seventy, perfectly erect in figure, as though fresh from military drill, and as strong and active as most men of fifty. The younger priests were all good-looking, active, healthy men, who thought nothing of a morning's walk over the fatiguing rocky paths to Troodos and back (twelve miles), to be refreshed on their return by an afternoon's work in their gardens. The head of the Church was an especial friend of ours, and was a dear old fellow of about seventy, with a handsome face, a pair of greasy brass spectacles bound with some substance to retain them that was long since past recognition, and swelled feet that prevented him from walking beyond the precincts of the monastery, which he had never quitted for twelve years. The feet looked uncommonly like the gout, but I can hardly believe in the co-existence of that complaint with dry beans and barley-bread, although the truth must be confessed, that the monks are fond of commanderia, or any other production of the vineyard. There was one exceedingly disagreeable monk with whom we held a most remote acquaintance, and whose name I willingly conceal; he has been seen upon several occasions to sit down upon an imaginary chair, the real article of furniture being eighteen inches distant, and the stunning effect of arriving suddenly in a sitting posture upon the hard stone of the courtyard disabled him from rising; and even when assisted his legs were evidently affected by the shock. His enemies declared (as they always do) that he was the victim to an over-indulgence in the raki and wine of Phyni. We generally knew him by the alias of "Roger," in memory of the Ingoldsby Legends, where

    "Roger the Monk
    Got excessively drunk,
    So they put him to bed,
    And tucked him in."

There was no friend to bestow such care upon our Roger, he therefore lay helplessly upon the bare stone until refreshing sleep restored his eyesight and his perpendicular.

Our particular friend the head of the Church was a very different character, and was a most simple-minded and really good religious man. I employed a photographer of the Royal Engineers (kindly permitted by Major Maitland, R.E.) specially to take his picture, as he sat every morning knitting stockings, with a little boy by his side reading the Greek Testament aloud, in the archway of the monastery. This was his daily occupation, varied only when he exchanged the work of knitting either for spinning cotton, or carving wooden spoons from the arbutus: these he manufactured in great numbers as return presents to those poor people who brought little offerings from the low country. Never having mixed with the world, the old man was very original and primitive in his ideas, which were limited to the monastery duties and to the extreme trouble occasioned by the numerous goats which trespassed upon the unfenced gardens, and inflicted serious damage. The chapel, which was under his control, was of the usual kind, and at the same time rough and exceedingly gaudy, the pulpit being gilded throughout its surface, and the reredos glittering with gold and tawdry pictures of the lowest style of art, representing the various saints, including a very fat St. George and the meekest possible dragon. Our old friend had never seen a British sovereign with the St. George, and was vastly pleased when he discovered that his saint and ours were the same person, only differing in symmetry of figures and in ferocity of dragons.

There was one very extraordinary effigy in bas-relief upon silver-gilt about two feet six inches high, of the Virgin Mary, to which peculiar miraculous properties were attributed. The possession of this relic formed the principal attraction of the monastery. About a quarter of a mile above the present establishment there is a small cave concealed among the ragged masses of rock that crust the mountain side; this has been formed by one rock which, leans across another, and each end has been walled up artificially, so as to form a stone chamber of about twelve feet in length by seven in width, with a small entrance. According to the account given by the old monk, this cave was the origin of the present monastery through the following accident. Among these wild mountains, where no dwelling of any kind exists, it has always been the custom after the melting of the snows in early spring to pasture the numerous flocks of goats, which are at that season driven up from the parched herbage of the low country to the fresh herbs of the cooler altitudes. Three or four hundred years ago a shepherd, having lost his goat at night, was surprised at the appearance of a light among the rocks high up on the mountain, and with superstitious awe he related his discovery to his fellows. For some time the mysterious light was observed nightly, and various conjectures were on foot as to its origin, but no one dared to venture upon an examination.

At length, the authorities of the Church having been consulted, it was resolved that a priest should accompany the party of investigation and the matter should be thoroughly cleared up.

It was a difficult climb to the pathless crags at night, but the light was glimmering like "the star that the wise men saw in the east," and though occasionally lost at intervals, it guided the party on their way. Upon arrival at the cave, there was no inhabitant. A lamp burnt before a small effigy of the Virgin Mary suspended against the wall of rock, but no trace of human foot or hand could be discovered.

Such is the legend; and the inexplicable mystery caused much excitement and agitation in the minds of the Church authorities. At length it was determined that, as the apparition of the light was miraculous, it was incumbent upon the people to erect a monastery upon the site of the appearance, contiguous to the now sacred cave.

This was an extreme difficulty, as the inclination formed an angle of about 60 degrees; and the mountain was hard gneiss that could only have been scarped by expensive blasting. However, it was hoped that a blessing would attend the good work; therefore, in spite of all obstacles, it was commenced, and masons were engaged from the village of Phyni to arrange a foundation.

There was no water nearer than the torrent in the deep hollow half a mile below, therefore extreme labour was required in mixing the mortar for the walls; the jars in which the necessary water was conveyed upon men's shoulders up the precipitous rocks appeared to be influenced by some adverse, but unseen, agency, as they constantly slipped from their hold and broke. During the night the work which the masons had accomplished in the day fell down, and was discovered every morning as a heap of ruin; the building could not proceed. In this perplexity the Church was relieved by a supernatural interposition. Early one morning a jar of pure water was discovered in the sharp angle of the hollow between the hills, exactly below the rachkooba, where I am now writing. It was evident to the priestly mind that an angel had placed this jar of water to denote the spot where some hidden spring might be developed, which would be a favourable site for the new monastery. They dug, and shortly discovered the expected source.

It was therefore resolved that instead of erecting the monastery close to the effigy in the cave, where bad luck had hitherto attended their efforts, it would be more advisable to commence the building upon a favourable spot, where a level already existed, in the angle between two mountain slopes within a few yards of the spring; it would be easier to convey the small effigy to the new building than to erect the monastery close to the effigy. Accordingly the work was commenced: the walls no longer fell during the night, and the unseen agency was evidently propitious.

Upon completion of the monastery the original effigy was enshrined, and Trooditissa became famous as a holy site. Years passed away, and the reputation of the establishment was enhanced by the arrival of a lady of high position from Beyrout, together with her husband, as pilgrims to the now celebrated mountain cave. The lady was childless, and having presented a handsome offering, and kissed the rock entrance of the cave, in addition to the effigy within the monastery, she waited in the neighbourhood for a certain number of months, at the expiration of which she gave birth to a son. The monks claimed this boy as their lawful prize, and he was brought up as a priest; but there is some discrepancy in the accounts which I could not well understand, as it appears that his parents insisted upon his restoration, and that an angelic interposition at length prevented litigation. It may be well imagined that the result of the lady's pilgrimage spread far and wide; the reputation of the monastery reached its zenith, and all the unfruitful women flocked to the shrine to kiss the cave and the picture of the Virgin within the church; at the same time offering a certain sum for the benefit of the establishment. The friction of constant and oft-repeated kissing at length began to tell upon the sacred effigy, and it became almost worn out; it was therefore determined that a beautiful silver-gilt Virgin and Child should be supplied by a first-rate artist which should cover the original relic within. This was remarkably well executed by Cornaro, and a small aperture like a keyhole of a door has been left, which is covered by a slide; this is moved upon one side when required, and enables the pilgrim to kiss through the hole a piece of rather brown-looking wood, which is the present exhausted surface of the effigy.

Although decayed by time and use, the miraculous property remains unchanged. This was exhibited a few years ago in a remarkable manner, where a childless lady had become old in barren expectation; but a visit to Trooditissa produced the desired result, and conferred much happiness upon the once despairing wife, who now became a mother. In addition to a monetary offering, this lady had presented the Virgin with a handsome belt with massive silver-gilt buckles, which she had worn during pregnancy. This offering is now suspended around the present effigy, and for a small consideration any lady applicant is allowed to fasten it round her waist. The effect is infallible, and quite equals that of the rock and silver Virgin. This remarkable inductive power may perhaps be some day explained by philosophers, but it is now exceedingly dangerous, and unfortunate results have occurred, when in a sudden impulse of devotion young maidens have kissed the rock entrance to the cave, or imprudently pressed their lips upon the sacred effigy.

During my sojourn at Trooditissa no arrivals of despairing wives occurred, but in the exhausted conditions of the finance throughout the island, it would have been the height of folly to have desired an increase of family, and thereby multiply expenses; possibly the uncertainty respecting the permanence of the English occupation may deter the ladies, who may postpone their pilgrimage to the monastery until their offspring should be born with the rights of British subjects.

I have described the origin of the ecclesiastical retreat at Trooditissa as nearly as possible according to the viva-voce history related by the monks. It is impossible to gauge the opinions of the world, as individuals differ as much in nervous structure and in theological creeds as they do in personal appearance; some may accept the monks' belief implicitly, while others may suggest that the original occupant of the cave was some unknown hermit secluded from the world, whose solitary lamp burning before the Virgin had attracted the attention of the shepherds from the mountain opposite. The old man may have fallen down a precipice and died, leaving his lamp still alight; but it would be unfair to interfere with the original legend, which must remain with the usual clouds and uncertainties that obscure the tales of centuries.

About 250 feet above the monastery the ridge of a spur afforded a level space beneath some tall pines which threw a welcome shade, and would have been a convenient camping-ground. This spot was occupied by the roughest of log-huts, which had been erected by a shepherd as his summer residence when the goats should be driven from the low ground to the mountain pasture. This man was originally a Turk, and formed one of a peculiar sect known in Cyprus as Linobambaki (linen and cotton). These people are said to be converts to Christianity, but in reality they have never been troubled with any religious scruples, and accordingly never accommodate their principles to the society of their neighbourhood. In a Turkish village the Linobambaki would call himself by a Turkish name, as Mahomet, or Hassan, &c., while in a Christian community he would pass as Michael or Georgy, or by other Greek appellations. The name "linen and cotton" applied to them is expressive of their lukewarmness and time-serving, their religious professions fluctuating according to the dictates not of conscience, but personal interest. It is supposed that about 1500 of these people exist in various parts of Cyprus; they are baptised in the Greek Church, and can thus escape conscription for military service according to Turkish law. The goatherd upon our mountain had been a Turkish servant (shepherd) in a Greek family, and had succeeded in gaining the heart of his master's daughter, whom he was permitted to marry after many difficulties. This woman must have been very beautiful when young, as, in spite of hard work and exposure, she was handsome at forty, with a pair of eyes that in youth might have been more attractive than the mysterious light in the hermit's cave. It is one of the blessings of fine eyes that they are almost certain to descend to the children. Property may vanish, litigation may destroy the substance of an inheritance; but the eyes, large, soft, and gentle, which can occasionally startle you by their power and subdue you by a tear, are the children's entail that nothing can disestablish. Even when time has trampled upon complexion, the eyes of beauty last till death.

The children of this Linobambaki and his handsome wife were seven—two boys of about nineteen and seventeen, and five girls from fourteen to one and a half—all of whom had the eyes of the mother developed most favourably. I cannot well describe every individual of a family: there were the two handsome shepherd youths who would have made level ground of mountain steeps, through their power and activity.

    "Right up Ben Lomond could he press,
     And not a sob his toil confess."

These young fellows matched the goats in clambering up the rocks and following their wayward flocks throughout the summits of the Troodos range; and their sisters the little shepherdesses were in their way equally surprising, in hunting runaway goats from the deepest chasm to the sharpest mountain-peak.

I hardly know who was our greatest favourite. There was "Katterina" (about fourteen) too old to make a pet of, but a gentle-charactered girl, always willing to please and never out of temper, and even in the big, hateful, beauty-destroying, high hob-nailed boots she could run up the mountain soil and clamber like a monkey. Then came, I believe, our best favourite, the bright, large-eyed, sparkling child "Vathoo," who was the real beauty of the family, about ten years old; she was full of life and vigour, a perfect goat upon the mountains, with a most lovely face that would have charmed Murillo as a subject, with an extreme perfection of features, a bronzed complexion, but hardly the soft expression required for a sacred picture; in fact Vathoo was a perfect little gipsy beauty, with perhaps more devil than angel in her impulsive character.

Then came the real gentle little face with gazelle-like eyes, "Baraksu," about eight years old: followed by a minimum shepherdess, "Athena," of nearly five years old, who climbed the rocks, shouted, and threw stones at her refractory flock, as though an experienced goatherd of forty. The youngest was just able to stand; with a pair of the biggest black eyes, and a natural instinct for gorging itself with unripe fruits and hard nuts, which, added to its maternal sustenance that it was still enjoying, proved the mill-like character of its infantine digestion. For two months we thought this young Hercules was a promising boy, until by an accident we discovered it was a "young lady" Linobambaki! When we arrived at Trooditissa these children were in rags and filth, but under the tutelage of my wife they quickly changed, and the never-failing fountain, assisted by a cake of soap supplied occasionally, effected a marked improvement in all complexions.

They were remarkably well-mannered after the first natural shyness had worn away, and formed a contrast to children of a low class in England in never misbehaving when intimate. All these little creatures were employed in cleaning and improving the place; even the minute Athena might be seen carrying a great stone upon her small shoulder, adding her mite to the work, and rubbing the galled spot as she threw down her load. The bright threepenny pieces were in great favour, and the children invariably hastened to their mother with their earnings at the close of the afternoon. When the camp and monastery surroundings were in perfect order there was no longer any remunerative employment for the family, except the uncertain and occasional work of collecting wild flowers for the tent and table. The myrtles bloomed in early July, and in the deep ravine by the waterfall the oleanders were then still in blossom. Several plants which were strange to me were added to the collection; the days were generally passed by the children in minding the numerous goats until the evening, when each child brought some simple offering of flowers. We bought sheep from the low country at about six or seven shillings each, and Vathoo was the special shepherdess of our small flock, for which she was responsible; they were invariably driven out at 4 A.M. and brought home at 8 to avoid the sun, and again taken out from 4 P.M. till 7.

In this simple manner we passed our time at Trooditissa; my amusements were my small garden, writing an account of Cyprus, and strolling over the mountains: the latter occupation being most unprofitable, as I destroyed all my boots upon the horrible surface of loose stones, in which there was little geological interest, as they were all gneiss and syenite, cracked and starred during a process of subaquean cooling. The deplorable aspect of the otherwise beautiful mountains was occasioned by the wholesale and wilful destruction of pine-trees, which is the Cypriote's baneful characteristic, and as this is one of the most important subjects in the modern history of the island, I shall devote the following special chapter entirely to the question of "Woods and Forests."

CHAPTER XIII.

WOODS AND FORESTS.

The climate of Cyprus is extreme in temperature during the months of June, July, August, and until the close of September; throughout the greater portion of the island the treeless surface absorbs the sun's rays, and during the night radiates the heat thus obtained, which raises the thermometer to 90 degrees before sunrise: while at noon it occasionally marks 100 degrees beneath the shade. A treeless country must either be extremely hot or cold, according to the latitude; and without a certain proportion of forest there will be an absence of equilibrium in temperature. Most persons will have observed the effect of heat radiation from rocks, or even from the walls of a building that have been exposed to a summer's sun during the long day. At about six P.M., when the air is cool, the sun-heat stored by absorption escapes from its imprisonment, and thermometers would exhibit a difference of many degrees if placed at two feet from the ground, and at fifty; the rocks and earth have been heated like an oven. Trees will affect the surface of the soil in the same manner that an umbrella protects an individual from the surf, and upon lofty mountains they exercise a marked influence upon the rainfall. Should the summits be naked, the rocks become heated to a high degree, and should clouds pass overhead, the vapour would not condense, but, on the contrary, it might disperse upon contact with the heated surface. If the summits were clothed with forests, the rocks and soil, being shaded from the sun, would remain cool, and the low temperature of earth and foliage would condense the vapour and produce rain. It is well known that trees exert a direct influence upon meteorological phenomena, therefore should forests be totally destroyed, a change may be expected in the temperature, attended by a corresponding decrease in the rainfall. It is obvious that should a country be entirely covered with trees and jungle, it will be too damp and unhealthy for the occupation of man; and should it be absolutely barren of forest, it will possess a minimum rainfall; therefore in all countries that are expected to develop agricultural resources, the due proportions of woods and forests require special attention.

In ancient days there can be no question that Cyprus was rich in timber, and that the mountainous districts were thickly clothed to their summits with valuable wood varying in species according to altitude. At the risk of repetition I must describe the qualities which now exist, and which were no doubt exported from the island, and became widely known and appreciated in the early days of Cyprian prosperity.

Oaks.—There are several varieties of oak, but large park-like timber of this species is exceedingly scarce, and although met with occasionally in grand spreading trees with trunks of large girth, they are only sufficient to prove the destruction that has befallen their race. It is most probable that the oak was largely exported for ship-building; but as an available forest-tree it may be said to have disappeared. The ilex is the most common of all woods upon the Troodos range and upon other mountains, but the natives have made such constant attacks upon this quality for the manufacture of charcoal that it is seldom met with as a forest-tree. It is extremely hardy, and through continual hacking, it has grown into dense bushes which are generally about eight feet high; but in very remote localities among the mountains I have found it in the shape of timber growing to the height of forty feet. There is a third variety with a prickly leaf resembling holly, of an intensely dark green.

Pines.—I have only met with three varieties—the Pinus maritima, Pinus laricio, and the stone pine. The latter is very rare, but may be seen at Platraes. The natives invariably pick the cones of this species when green for the sake of the small edible nuts afforded by the seeds.

The Pinus laricio is a handsome tree with a dark foliage and branches that droop regularly from the summit, widening towards the base. It is difficult to determine the maximum size that would be attained by this species, as the Cypriotes seldom allow any tree to remain uninjured. The usual size of the Laracio on the Troodos range is about fifty feet in height, with a girth of six feet, but I have frequently seen specimens of nine feet in girth, and about seventy to eighty feet in height.

The Pinus maritima has a lighter foliage and the branches are more spreading, but the size is about the same as the Laricio. Both these species are rich in tar and turpentine.

Cypress.—There are two varieties—the dwarf, which covers the flat-topped limestone hills of the Carpas district, and the fragrant species which grows upon the heights of Troodos and all that range which extends to Poli-ton-Krysokhus.

The dwarf-cypress attains a height of about twenty feet, and is exceedingly hard and durable. The fragrant species varies from thirty to thirty-five feet, with a stem of six, to sometimes eight feet in circumference. The wood is highly aromatic; and I have already described it as resembling a mixture of sandal-wood and cedar. This tree is known by the Cypriotes as kypresses, while the dwarf variety is known as the "wild cypress," and is called by them "aoratu."

Plane (Platanus).—This tree is generally found in the ravines among the mountains, on the borders of streams, and would grow to a large size, but its straight young stems are much sought after by the natives for various purposes, and it is seldom allowed a chance of arriving unscathed at maturity. Its light green foliage is highly ornamental, mixed with the dark shades of the ilex in the deep bottoms of the gorges; and wherever a never-failing stream is met with the plane may be expected.

The elm, ash, maple, walnut, mulberry, peach, apricot, apple, pear, filbert, fig, plum, cherry, orange, lemon, pomegranate, are common, but as they do not come within the category of trees indigenous to the natural forests of the island, I shall not include them.

Olive.—The wild olive forms a considerable portion of the low scrub-woods of the Carpas district, and the young trees, when transplanted and grafted, become the accepted olives of cultivation. There is no reason why the wild olive should not be grafted in its natural position the same as the caroub.

Caroub.—This tree has already been described, but although not valuable as timber, owing to the short length of its trunk, it should receive the special attention of the government, as its produce should be extended to the utmost limit of the capabilities of the island. If the wild trees were grafted wherever they are met with, whole forests would quickly be produced with a minimum of labour, and vast tracts of rocky soil, worthless for other cultivation, would be brought into value, at the same time that the surface would be covered with the much desired vegetation.

Tremithia.—The wood of this tree is of no value, but the berries are used as a substitute for olive-oil; as it grows in large quantities as a shrub, simply because it is not allowed the chance of arriving at maturity, it is to be hoped that a few years of forest supervision will add this shady and highly-ornamental tree to the list of those common to the island. The arbutus, myrtle, and the mastic are trees of so small a growth that they cannot be classed with "Woods and Forests."

One of the first acts of the British administration was a stringent prohibition against the felling of any tree throughout Cyprus, or the cutting of any wood for the burning of charcoal. This law for the preservation of woods and forests extended to trees upon PRIVATE PROPERTY OF INDIVIDUALS!—thus the owner of a garden could not cut down one of his own caroub-trees if they were too thickly planted; or if he required a piece of timber for making or repairing his water-wheel. An act for the protection of crown forests was highly necessary, but no laws are of value unless the machinery exists for enforcing them, and at the present moment the stringent enactment against the destruction of trees may be evaded like any of the Ten Commandments, because there is absolutely no staff, nor special officers for the supervision of woods and forests. This important subject requires a separate department, and nothing can be more simple if administered by persons qualified by education for the development of trees suitable to the island. The poverty of the local government, owing to the miserable conditions of our tenure, which send the cream to Turkey, and suckle the necessary staff upon the thin skimmed-milk, does not permit the real improvement of the forests. It is simply ridiculous to make laws without the active weapons to enforce authority; we may as well rest satisfied with the game laws in England and dismiss our keepers, as prohibit the cutting of wood in Cyprus without supervising the forests by a staff of foresters. If the words "Thou shalt not steal," even from a divine command, were sufficient to prevent felony and petty larceny, it would be folly to incur the expense of police; but we know that practically all laws must be upheld by force, represented by the authorised guardians of the state. At this moment in Cyprus the law proclaims, "Thou shalt not cut a tree," while practically you may cut as many as you like in the mountain forests, as there is no person authorised to interfere with your acts. Some miserable offender may be pounced upon in his own garden, near one of the principal towns, where the law SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ENFORCED, as interfering with the individual rights of private property; but in the situations where the prohibition is of the first importance, there is literally not an officer or man to prevent the usual depredations. Why? The answer must be accepted. There is no money, and we cannot afford an independent department of "Woods and Forests." If the country is to continue in this slip-shod form it is a disgrace to England. There is time to save the forests from absolute destruction, and in my own opinion, before anything is done beyond the necessary roads and irrigation loans, every possible attention should be concentrated upon the protection and development of forest-trees.

The position at this moment is as follows. Throughout the entire mountain range there are not 5 per cent. of pines free from mutilation.

The whole of Troodos, and the mountain districts from near Lithrodondo to as far west as Poli-ton-Khrysokus, are naturally adapted for the growth of pines and cypress, which love the soil of the plutonic rocks, and drive their roots deep into the interstices, deriving nourishment where nothing else would thrive. Upon the highest altitudes there is not a dwarf shrub to cover the surface of the loose coffee-coloured rocks, where in the winter the snow accumulates to a depth of twenty feet, yet there we find the pines and cypress in their greatest vigour; but even to these solitary heights the Cypriote has penetrated with his unsparing axe, and has created a desolation that must be seen to be understood. There is no sight so exasperating as this uncalled-for destruction; it is beyond all belief, and when the amount of labour is considered that must have been expended in this indiscriminate attack upon forest-trees THAT ARE LEFT TO ROT UPON THE GROUND where they have fallen, the object of the attack is at first sight inconceivable. The sight of a mountain pine-forest in Cyprus would convey the impression that an enemy who had conquered the country had determined to utterly destroy it, even to the primaeval forests; he had therefore felled, and left to rot, the greater portion of the trees; but finding the labour beyond his means, he had contented himself with barking, ringing, and hacking at the base of the remainder, to ensure their ultimate destruction.

The extreme heights of Troodos, shoulders and head, are about 6300 feet above the sea, from which altitude the pines and cypress descend to within 1500 feet of the level. There are rough native mule-paths throughout the mountains, and the sure-footed animals will carry a man with ease where walking would be most fatiguing, owing to the loose rocks and smaller stones, which cover every inch of the surface. I have walked and ridden over the greater portion, but in all cases I have been overcome with anger and dismay at the terrible exhibition of wanton and unwarrantable desolation. If a hurricane had passed over the country and torn up by the roots nine trees out of every ten that composed the forest, the destruction would be nothing compared to that of the native Cypriote, who mutilates those which he has not felled; the wind would only upturn, but would spare those whose strength had resisted the attack. Magnificent trees lie rotting upon the ground in thousands upon thousands, untouched since the hour when they fell before the most scientifically applied axe. I never saw a higher example of woodcraft. The trunks of pines two feet in diameter are cut so carefully, that the work of the axe is almost as neat as that of a cross-cut saw. These large trees are divided about four feet from the ground, as that is a convenient height for the woodman, and spare his back from stooping to his blow. Each cut with the axe is nearly at a right angle with the stem and so regularly is the cutting conducted completely round the tree, that at length only two, or at the most three inches of wood remain to support the trunk, which in the absence of wind remains balanced to the last moment, until overthrown by the wedge.

Upon first arrival in the country it is difficult to comprehend the reason for this general destruction; but as a gipsy in Turkey will burn down a handsome tree in order to make his wooden spoons, so the Cypriote will fell a large pine for the sake of the base of five or six feet in length that will afford him a wooden trough either for water or to feed his pigs. A great number of the larger trees are cut and partially scooped for four or five feet before their destruction is determined upon, as the carpenter wishes to prove the quality of the heart. Many are rejected, and the operation proceeds no further; but the tree remains mutilated for ever.

Other trees are felled for the purpose of obtaining tar. Before they are absolutely cut down they are tapped by cutting a deep incision nearly into the centre of the heart, like a huge notch, and they are left for a time to prove whether the tar will run, as exhibited by the production of the resin. If unfavourable, the tree is left thus cut to the heart and blemished. Nearly every tree is thus marked. If the signs of tar are propitious, the tree is felled, the branches are lopped, and the trunk cut into sections and split. All pieces are then arranged longitudinally in a rude kiln formed of loose stones and earth, in which they are burned, and the tar as it exudes is led by a narrow gutter formed of clay into the receptacle prepared.

Should a straight pole be required for any special purpose, a large pine is felled, and the tapered, pointed top is cut off to a convenient length, the great spar being rejected and left to decay upon the ground. I have never seen pit-saws used, but as a rule, should a beam or stout plank be required, a whole tree is adzed away to produce it, and great piles of chips are continually met with in the forests, where some large trunk has thus perished under the exhausting process. I was rather surprised, when the military huts were conveyed at an immense expense of transport to the mountain station, that a few pairs of English sawyers had not been employed to cut the inexhaustible supply of seasoned wood now lying uselessly upon the ground, that would have supplied all necessary planks and rafters, &c.

Fires, either accidental or malicious, are not uncommon, and I have seen hill-sides completely destroyed. At a certain season the pines change their foliage and the ground becomes thickly covered to the depth of a couple of inches or more with the dry and highly inflammable spines. Should these take fire, the conflagration in a high wind becomes serious, and spreads to the trees, which perish.

Nothing would be easier than to defend the interests of the woods and forests by an efficient staff of foresters, who should be Highlanders from Scotland accustomed to mountain climbing, or English game-keepers, who would combine the protection of forests with that of game. These men, under the command of a certain number of officers, should be quartered in particular districts, and would quickly acquire a knowledge of the localities. The higher mountains would be their home during the summer months, from which points the sound of an axe could be heard from a great distance, and from the commanding elevation a depredator could be distinctly identified with a good telescope. The Cypriotes are easily governed, and should a few severe examples be made public when the destroyers had been taken in the act, an exceedingly small staff of foresters would be sufficient to insure order and protection.

The pine and cypress are the trees most generally attacked, and, as I have already shown, there is no difficulty whatever in their preservation should the requisite staff of officials be appointed. It should, however, be borne in mind that the preservation of woods and forests is a simple matter compared with the absolute necessity of their extension; it is therefore desirable to examine the capabilities of the island for tree-culture.

When Cyprus was first occupied by British troops the English newspapers were full of superficial advice suggested by numerous well-meaning correspondents who were utterly devoid of practical experience in tree-planting, and a unanimous verdict was given in favour of the Eucalyptus globulus, and other varieties of the same tree, irrespective of all knowledge of localities and soils.

The absence of money would be the only excuse for any delay in experimental tree-culture. The seeds of the eucalyptus were sent out in considerable quantities to the various chief commissioners of districts for cultivation, as though these overworked and ill-paid officers were omniscient, and added the practical knowledge of horticulture to their military qualifications. Every commissioner that I saw had a few old wine or beer cases filled with earth, in which he was endeavouring to produce embryo forests of the varieties of eucalyptus, to be planted out when germinated—how, when, or where, he could not tell. Of course all these attempts ended in failure. There should have been an experienced gardener specially appointed for the purpose of raising and planting out the young trees adapted for the various soils and altitudes of the country, and such trees should have been ready for their positions at the commencement of the winter months in November. The commissioners worked in this new occupation with the same praiseworthy energy that distinguished them throughout all the trying difficulties of their appointment as rulers in a strange country, where, without a knowledge of the language or customs, they were suddenly called upon to confer happiness and contentment upon an oppressed population by administering TURKISH laws in the essence of their integrity.

The Cypriotes had expected to see England and the English as their rulers; but like the well-known saying, "Scratch a Russian and you discover the Tartar," they might have "scratched an Englishman and have found the Turk," in the actual regime that we were bound to maintain according to the conditions of the British occupation.

The native mind could not understand the reason for the stringent rule prohibiting the cutting of trees and they came to the conclusion that our government contemplated some selfish advantage, and that the forests were eventually to be leased to a company. When they shall see tree-planting commenced by the government upon an extensive scale they will believe in the undertaking as intended for the welfare of the island.

Whenever this important and necessary work shall be organised, it is to be hoped that "common sense" will be employed in the selection of trees adapted for the various localities, and that no absurd experiments will be made upon a large scale by introducing varieties foreign to the island until they shall have been tested satisfactorily in botanical nurseries established at various altitudes.

There are various local difficulties that must be considered in addition to soil and climate; the most important is the presence of vast numbers of goats throughout the mountains, that would utterly destroy certain varieties of young plants. There can be no doubt that the climate and soil are specially adapted for the introduction of the common larch, which would grow quickly into value for the much-needed poles for rafters and beams for the flat-topped roofs; but this tree is eagerly devoured by sheep, goats, and cattle, and would be destroyed in its first stage unless protected by fencing. It will be a safe rule to adopt the native trees as a guide to future extension, as the varieties of such classes as are indigenous will assuredly succeed. The two existing pines are shunned by goats even when in their earliest growth, and they are so ineradicable that were the forests spared and allowed to remain without artificial planting, in ten years there would be masses of young trees too thick for the success of timber. The rain, when heavy, washes the fallen cones from the highest points, and as they are carried by the surface water down the steep inclines they hitch among the rocks and take root in every favourable locality. Here we have two native trees that will plant themselves and flourish without expense, invulnerable to the attacks of goats, and only demanding rest and time. On the other hand, they might be planted at regular intervals with so small an outlay that their artificial arrangement would be advisable.

The cypress may be extended in a similar manner.

The presence of several varieties of oak would naturally suggest the introduction of the cork-tree and the species which produces the valonia, which forms an important article of trade, and is largely used in England by the tanner. This cup of the acorn of the Quercus aegilops is extremely rich in tannin, and ranges in price from 20 to 30 pounds sterling per ton delivered in an English port. It is exported largely from the Levant, and there can be little doubt that its introduction to Cyprus would eventually supply a new source of revenue.

The climate and soil of the Troodos mountains would be highly favourable to the cork-tree,* which would after thirty or forty years become extremely valuable. The box might be introduced from the mountains of Spain, also the Spanish chestnut, which for building purposes is invaluable, as not only practically imperishable, but fire-proof. It is not generally known that the wood of the Spanish chestnut is so uninflammable that it requires the aid of other fuel to consume it by fire; it might be used with great advantage in massive logs for upright pillars, to support beams of similar wood in warehouses.

(*The cork oak is mentioned in some works on Cyprus as indigenous to the island; this is a mistake. The ilex is plentiful, but not the cork-tree.)

Although the walnut cannot be classed with forest-trees indigenous to Cyprus, it flourishes abundantly at a high elevation, ranging from about 2500 to 5000 feet above the sea. At Trooditissa monastery there are trees that were planted by the hands of the old monk, my informant, only twenty years ago, which are equal in size to a growth of fifty years in England. The planting of walnuts should certainly be encouraged, as the wood is extremely valuable; at the same time that the crop yields an annual revenue.

The preservation and extension of the woods and forests throughout the mountainous districts of Cyprus are a simple affair, which only requires capital and common sense combined with the usual necessary experience. There are other portions of the island which require a different treatment.

It is the fashion to accredit every portion of Cyprus as tree-bearing in its early history, but if the student will compare the large population reported to have existed at that time with the superficial area of the island, it will be plainly seen that a very large proportion must have been under cultivation, otherwise supplies must have been imported. I have before mentioned my opinion that the hard bare surface of the denuded cretaceous hills could never have borne timber, neither do I believe in the traditions concerning forests in the plain of Messaria, for the simple reason that it must have been the cereal-producing area of the island.

The ancient forests must have existed where the vestiges remain to the present day, in which localities the natural inclination of the soil is to produce trees, which are still represented, in spite of the hideous destruction perpetrated by the inhabitants during many centuries. These positions include the entire Carpas district, together with the long range of compact limestone mountains forming the northern wall of the island, the northern coast and western, comprising the country between Poli-ton-Khrysokhus, and Baffo, and the central and coast-line from Baffo to Limasol, with exceptions of lands here and there cultivated with cereals. The greater portion of the mountains that are now occupied with vineyards were originally forests, which have been cleared specially for the cultivation of the vine. I have seen ground at an elevation of 4800 feet where the vineyards originally existed upon cleared forest soil, which, having been abandoned, is relapsing into its former state, becoming more or less covered with pines as birds may have dropped the seeds, or the cones may have been driven from higher altitudes by wind and rain.

The question that must now be determined is this: "What portions of the island are to be restored to forest?" Any person who has carefully examined the country can reply without hesitation, "Plant all useless lands with trees; those useless lands are already more or less covered with bush or woods, and denote their own position, in the Carpas, the Troodos, and all mountain and hill ranges."

Where ancient forests have disappeared in favour of cultivation, it would be folly to convert an improvement into the original wilderness. That question is easily simplified, and when the department of Woods and Forests shall be established, a few years of energy will produce a new picture in a country where the growth of timber proceeds quickly.

But the last necessary reform still remains unnoticed; this should determine the amount of caroubs, mulberry, and fruit-trees that should be CUMPULSORILY planted by all proprietors of land in proportion to their acreage; and this is absolutely necessary.

As I have described in many portions of our journey through Cyprus, the simple action of an insignificant stream, or of a solitary cattle-wheel, forms an oasis in the rainless desert of the Messaria, and the eye that has been wearied with the barren aspect of a treeless surface is gladdened by the relief of a sudden appearance of groves of oranges, lemons, and other shady trees, the result of a supply of water. Whenever such welcome spots are met with upon the miserable plain, the question invariably arises, "Why should such fruitful and delightful positions be so rare? The soil is fertile, the climate is favourable, all that is required is water, and energy."

If a Cypriote is asked the question, he invariably replies "that during the Turkish administration the fruit-trees increased their troubles, owing to the vexatious and extortionate taxation of the crops, therefore they were glad to be quit of them altogether." Your question No. 2 follows, "Why do you not plant trees now that the English have occupied the country?" The reply is stereotyped, "We are not sure that you will remain here permanently, and if you abandon the island the Turks will resume the old system with even greater oppression than before." This is an unanswerable dilemma, which no doubt retards improvements; but there is a third difficulty which is invariably brought prominently forward when any suggestions are made for an extension of agricultural enterprise: "We have no money." This is absolutely true, although I have heard the assertion contested by certain authorities. The people as a rule are miserably poor, and cannot afford to run the risks of experiments, especially during the present uncertainty connected with the British occupation.

The opinions that I personally offer are based upon the assumption that England can never recede from the position she has assumed in Cyprus, which she must continue, for better or for worse, as a point of honour. Any abandonment of the protection we have afforded to the inhabitants would tend to aggravate their position, should they return to the authority of the Porte, and their only hope would lie in the occupation of our empty bed by France, who certainly requires a coaling depot towards the east of the Mediterranean. Should we wash our hands of Cyprus, and evacuate it in a similar manner to Corfu, we should become the laughing-stock of Europe, and no future step taken by England in the form of a "protectorate" would ever be relied upon. Had we retained Corfu to the present moment, no doubt would have existed as to any change in our intentions respecting Cyprus, but the precedent established by our retirement from that grand strategical position has borne its fruit in the want of confidence now felt by all classes in the permanence of our new acquisition.

It will be admitted that a general want of elasticity has succeeded to the first bound of expectation that was raised by the sudden announcement of a British occupation; the government cannot be held responsible for the disappointment of rash adventurers, but their true responsibility commenced when they assumed the charge of the inhabitants of Cyprus. The first year of the new administration has been marked by a minimum rainfall that has caused the destruction of all crops dependent upon the natural water-supply of seasons, and this partial famine of the first year of our occupation is generally regarded as a disaster. Although disastrous, I believe the serious warning will operate with wholesome effect, by opening the eyes of the authorities to the absolute necessity of directing special attention to the requirements of the people, who after centuries of oppression have become apathetic and inert, which unfits them for the spontaneous action that should be exerted against the dangerous exigencies of their climate. The government of Cyprus must be to a certain extent paternal, and the planting of trees that will eventually benefit not only individuals, but the island generally, and ultimately the revenue, should be made compulsory, in proportion to the area of the various holdings, due assistance being accorded to the proprietors by way of loans.

The eucalyptus is suitable for many localities in the lowlands of Larnaca and Famagousta, and it might be profitably introduced throughout such swampy soils as the neighbourhood of Morphu and other similar positions with good sanitary results; but such trees will represent the woods and forests of the low country without a productive income to the population; whereas by an enforced cultivation of fruit-trees upon every holding the island would in a few years become a garden, and the exportation of fruit to Egypt, only thirty hours' distant, would be the commencement of an important trade, alike beneficial to the individual proprietors and to the island generally.

At the present time, and for many years past, Alexandria has been supplied with all fruits from Jaffa, Beyrout, and various ports on the coast of Syria, but there is no reason why Cyprus should not eventually monopolise the trade, if special attention shall be bestowed (by the suggested department of Woods and Forests) upon the qualities and cultivation whenever an arrangement for an extension of planting shall be carried out. I have never seen any fruits of high quality in Cyprus, but they are generally most inferior, owing to the neglect of grafting, and the overcrowding of the trees. The cherries which grow in the villages from 2500 to 4500 feet above the sea are taken down to Limasol and the principal towns for sale, but they are small and tasteless, although red and bright in colour. They grow in large quantities, and are never attacked by birds which render the crop precarious in England, and necessitate the expense of netting; should the best varieties be introduced, every natural advantage exists for their cultivation.

The apricots are not much larger than chestnuts, and would be classed as "wild fruit," from the extreme inferiority of size and flavour; but there is no reason except neglect for the low quality of a delicious species of fruit that seems from the luxuriant growth of the tree to be specially adapted to the soil and climate. It is useless to enumerate the varieties of fruits that are brought to market; all are inferior, excepting grapes and lemons. The productions of the gardens exhibit the miserable position of the island, which emanates from a want of elasticity in a debased and oppressed population too apathetic and hopeless to attempt improvements.

England can change this wretched stagnation by the application of capital, and by encouraging the development of the first necessity, WATER; without which, all attempts at agricultural improvements, and the extension of tree-planting in the low country, would be futile. I shall therefore devote the following chapter to the subject of artificial irrigation, and its results.

CHAPTER XIV.

REMARKS ON IRRIGATION.

The ancient prosperity of Cyprus must have been due to artificial irrigation, which ensured a maximum of production, similar to the inundated lands of Egypt. In the latter country the Nile is a "Salvator Mundi," without which Egypt would be a simple prolongation of the Nubian and Libyan deserts, in the absence of a seasonable rainfall. The difference between the great cereal-producing portion of Cyprus and the Delta of Egypt is, that, although the plain of Messaria has been formed chiefly through the action of the Pedias river and other periodical mountain streams, which have deposited a rich stratum of soil during inundations, the rivers are merely torrents, or simple conduits, which carry off the waters of heavy storms, or intervals of rain, and act as drains in conveying the surplus waters during floods; while at other times they are absolutely dry.

If the Nile were controlled by a series of weirs or dams, with sluices to divert the high waters of the period into natural depressions within the desert, to form reservoirs at high levels for the supply of Egypt in seasons of scarcity, the command of the water-supply would be far preferable to the chances of rain in the most favoured country. Water, like fire, should be the slave of man, to whom it is the first necessity; therefore his first effort in his struggle with the elements should reduce this power to vassalage. There must be no question of supremacy; water must serve mankind.

Many years ago I published, in the Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia, my ideas for the control of the Nile and the submersion of the cataracts by a series of weirs, with water-gates for the facility of navigation; which with certain modifications will some day assuredly be carried out, and will render Egypt the most favoured country of the world, as absolute mistress of the river which is now at the same time a tyrant and a slave. The Pedias of Cyprus may during some terrific rainfall assume proportions that would convey a most erroneous impression to the mind of a stranger, who, upon regarding the boiling torrent overspreading a valley of some miles in width in its impetuous course towards ancient Salamis, might conclude that it was a river of the first importance. The fact is that no RIVER exists in Cyprus: what should be rivers are mere channels, watercourses, brooks, torrents, or any of the multifarious names for stream-beds that may be discovered in an English dictionary. At the same time that the natural channels are dry during the summer months, through the want of power in the water-head to overcome the absorption of the porous soil throughout its course, it must not be forgotten that a certain supply exists at the fountain head, within practicable distance, which might be stored and led from the mountains to the lower lands for the purposes of irrigation. When we reflect that in the proverbially wet climate of England there is a considerable difficulty in assuring a supply of wholesome water, and that the various water companies have made enormous profits, it is not surprising that in a neglected island like Cyprus there should be distress in the absence of abundant rain. The uninitiated in England seldom appreciate the labour and expenditure that has supplied the response to the simple turning of a tap within an ordinary house. If they would follow the artificial stream from the small leaden pipe to the distant reservoir, they would discover that a glen or valley has been walled in by a stupendous dam, which imprisons a hill-rivulet before it can have descended to the impurities of habitations, and that the pressure of waters thus stored at an elevated level forces a supply to a town at a distance of many miles. This same principle might be adopted in numerous localities among the mountains of Cyprus, where the streams are perennial, but are now exhausted by the absorption of the sandy beds before they have time to reach the villages in the lower lands. Iron pipes might be laid to convey a water-supply to certain districts, upon which a rate would be levied per acre and the crops would be ensured.

The government at the present moment obtains a revenue in kind, or in a money valuation of the corn taken at the threshing-floor; thus in the absence of a crop through drought, or other accident, the revenue suffers directly together with the owner: no crop, no revenue. The main strength of a country lies in an annual income free from serious fluctuations, and the extreme instability of Cyprus is the result of the peculiar uncertainty of seasons which is a special feature in its meteorological condition. It is therefore incumbent upon the government, as an act of self-preservation, to take such measures of precaution as will render certain the supply of water, which is all that is required to ensure the average produce of the soil, and thereby to sustain the revenue.

I do not indulge in engineering details, but, from the experience I have gained by a personal examination of the localities, I am convinced that no difficulty whatever exists that would not be overcome with a very moderate outlay. The mountains are admirably situated, with a watershed upon all sides, thus offering the greatest facilities for reservoirs and pipes that would radiate in every direction. This subject will demand a careful inquiry by hydraulic engineers, as it is a special branch of the profession that requires wide experience, and large sums may be fruitlessly expended through ignorance, where a trifling amount well administered might achieve great results.

One of the first necessary steps in an examination of the subterranean water-supply of Cyprus will be "borings" that will test the existence of artesian springs. There are in many portions of the island extensive plateaux at high altitudes that would absorb a considerable rainfall, in addition to a large superficial area of mountains and hills that would exert the requisite pressure to force the water above the surface of a lower level upon boring, should it now lie beneath some impervious stratum. Boring will alone solve this question. Should artesian wells be practicable in certain localities, an immense blessing will be conferred upon the island.

In the meantime the native method already described, of connecting chains of wells from different springs converging to a main channel or subterranean tunnel, is an original form of Cyprian engineering thoroughly understood by the population, which should be strenuously encouraged. It is a common fault among English people to ignore the value of native methods, and to substitute some costly machinery which requires skilled labour and expense in working; this must in time get out of order and necessitate delay and extra outlay in repairs; generally at a period when the machine is most required.

It is a curious fact that the shadoof or lever and bucket worked by hand, which is so generally used throughout Egypt, is unknown in Cyprus, where in many localities it would be easily worked when water is within five to eight feet of the surface. This arrangement only requires a pole of about twenty feet in length supported upon an upright post, so as to play like a pump-handle by the balance of a weight attached to one end to counterbalance the pail of water suspended to a long stick and short rope at the other extremity. In Egypt the weight at the short end is merely a mass of clay tempered with chopped straw beaten together to represent about 150 lbs. or whatever may be required; this adheres, and forms a knob to the end of the lever.

A man holds the long thin stick suspended at the other extremity to which the bucket is attached, and pulls it down hand over hand until the utensil is immersed in the water; when full, it is so nearly counterbalanced by the weight at the end of the lever that a very slight exertion raises it to the desired level, where it is emptied into a receiver. Many years ago, when at Gondokoro, I arranged a double shadoof of parallel levers and two galvanised iron buckets of four gallons each, worked by two men. I timed the labour of this simple machine, and proved that the two men delivered 3600 gallons within an hour. The men exerted themselves to a degree that could not have been continued throughout the day, and the buckets, of English make, were far more capacious than the simple leather stretched upon a hoop of sticks that is used in Egypt; but there is no reason for such inferior adjuncts. It may be safely assumed that with proper appliances the double shadoof, worked by two men, will deliver 2000 gallons an hour for a working day of six active hours, or a total of 12,000 gallons. In Cyprus the wages of a labourer are one shilling a day, therefore the cost of raising 12,000 gallons would be only two shillings, provided the water is only five feet from the surface. There are many portions of the Messaria plain where the water is even nearer, but the shadoof could work profitably at six, and even at eight feet, and it possesses the advantage of such extreme cheapness of original cost that the outlay is insignificant.

Where fuel is expensive, and cattle and human labour cheap, the ancient Egyptian water-wheel will deliver a supply at a cheaper rate than steam. It has the merit of being always ready; there is no delay in lighting fires and getting up the steam; there is no expensive engineer who may be sick or absent when required; but the wheel is turned either by night or day by mules or oxen, driven by a child. Wind vanes might be attached to this principle, and could be connected on favourable occasions.

The peculiarity throughout the lower levels in Cyprus (specially exhibited in the plain of Messaria) of a water-supply within a few feet of the surface, at the same time that the crops may be perishing from drought, is in favour of the general adoption of the Egyptian wheel. Although this simple construction is one of the oldest inventions for raising water, and is generally understood, I may be excused for describing it when upon the important topic of irrigation.

A large pit is sunk to about three feet below the level of the water, and should the earth not be sufficiently tenacious for self-support, the sides are walled with masonry; this pit would usually be about twenty feet long, four feet wide, and twenty feet deep for a first-class wheel. When the wooden wheel of about seventeen feet diameter has been fixed upon its horizontal shaft, it is arranged with a chain of large earthen jars; those of Egypt contain about three gallons each, but the Cyprian pots are very inferior, scarcely exceeding the same number of quarts.

These jars are secured upon a double line of stiff ropes formed in Cyprus of the long twisted wands of myrtle, which are exceedingly tough, and are substitutes for willows in basket-work. When completed, the chain resembles a rope ladder, with the numerous jars sufficiently close together to represent spokes separated by about sixteen inches. This is suspended over the edge of the wheel, and hangs vertically; the lower portion of this necklace-like arrangement being about three feet below the water, or as near the bottom as is possible with safety to the jars.

When the wheel turns the necklace of pots must of necessity obey the movement, and as they dip successively and fill in the deep water, they in turn rise to the surface with the revolutions of the wheel; upon passing the centre they invert, and empty their contents into a large trough connected with a reservoir capable of containing many hundred hogsheads. A circular chain or ladder of twenty feet diameter will contain about twenty jars of three gallons each—equalling a delivery of about two and a half gallons per jar, as there is generally a loss of water during the movement; therefore one complete revolution of the wheel would deliver fifty gallons into the reservoir.

The wheel is turned by a simple contrivance of wooden cogs and drivers, worked by a long revolving lever, to which, for a powerful machine such as I have described, a pair of mules or oxen would be necessary. A child sits upon the pole or lever and keeps the animals to their work.

There is no specified limit to the depth at which this instrument can work, as it must depend upon the length of chain and the number of jars, which of course increase the weight and strain upon the machinery and animals. In Cyprus, where the water is generally near the surface, the advantages are obvious, and I feel convinced that no modern invention is so well adapted for the Cypriote cultivator.

The cost of erection of such a machine complete, together with the sinking of the pit, is calculated, at an average of localities, as 12 pounds; a pair of oxen will cost 10 pounds: thus the water-wheel in working order will amount to 22 pounds. One wheel will irrigate eighty donums, or about forty acres of cereals, but the same instrument would only suffice for about six acres of garden ground, which requires a more constant supply of water. It may therefore be understood that in calculating the power of a water-wheel, various conditions must be considered, and I shall confine myself to the farm, upon which it will be necessary to establish one water-wheel or sakyeeah for every forty acres; this entails a first outlay of eleven shillings per acre; and at once ensures the crop and renders the farmer independent of the seasons. But including the cost of constructing the numerous water-channels of clay to conduct the stream to the desired fields, together with the expense of erecting the reservoirs of masonry upon a sufficient scale, I should raise the original outlay for irrigation by cattle-wheels to 20 shillings per acre (1 pound). This would include the services of a pair of oxen for other work when the sakyeeah should not be required.* (*The wheel I have described is double the power of those in general use in Cyprus, where a single animal works the sakyeeah, and it would irrigate a larger acreage.) According to this calculation, which exceeds by a large margin the figures given to me by several native farmers, the owner of a hundred acres must only expend 100 pounds to ensure his annual crops! To us this appears nothing, but to the Cypriote it is everything. Where is he to obtain one hundred pounds? To him the sum is enormous and overpowering.

In times of scarcity, which unfortunately are the general conditions of the country, owing to the deficiency of rain, the farmer must borrow money not only for the current expenses of his employment, but for the bare sustenance of his family; he has recourse to the usurer, and henceforth becomes his slave. The rate of interest may be anything that can be imagined when extortion acts upon one side while poverty and absolute famine are the petitioners. The farm, together with the stock, are mortgaged, and the expected crops for a stipulated number of seasons are made over to the usurer at a fixed sum per measure of corn, far below the market price. Another bad season adds to the crushing burden, and after a few years, when the unfortunate landowner is completely overwhelmed with debt, perchance one of the happy years arrives when propitious rains in the proper season bring forth the grand cereal-producing power of Cyprus, and the wheat and barley, six feet high, wave over the green surface throughout the island. The yield of one such abundant crop almost releases the debtor from his misery; another year would free him from the usurer; but rarely or never are two favourable seasons consecutive; the abundant harvest is generally followed by several years of drought. This pitiable position may be quickly changed by government assistance without the slightest risk.

The first necessity is capital, and the usurer must disappear from the scene. I do not think that an agricultural bank will be practically worked, as the value of money in the east is above 6 per cent., which is the maximum that the Cyprian cultivator should pay. The government must advance loans for the special erection of water-wheels, or other methods of irrigation, at 6 per cent., taking a mortgage of the land as their security; this loan upon water-works to take precedence of all others. The government can borrow at 4 per cent., and will lend at 6, which is not a bad beginning for a national bank. The water-wheels can be constructed in a few weeks, and their effect would be IMMEDIATE; there would be no doubtful interval of years, but the very first season would leave the cultivator in a position to repay the loan; at the same time, the government would reap the direct benefit of a certain revenue from the irrigated and assured production of the land.

This is no visionary theory; the fact is already patent in the few farms belonging to wealthy land-owners that I have already described, as exhibiting the simple power of a few water-wheels to produce abundance, while upon the margin of such verdant examples the country is absolutely desert, parched and withered by a burning sun, yielding nothing either to the owner or to the revenue, while at the same time the water-supply is only four or five yards beneath the feet of the miserable proprietor, who has neither capital nor power to raise it to the surface.

There is no necessity for the government to embark in any uncertain enterprise, neither should they interfere with the native methods of irrigation; and above all things, no money should leave the island to fill the pockets of English contractors in the purchase of pumps, or other inventions. All that is required by the Cypriote is capital; lend him the money at 6 per cent.: the government will be saved all trouble, and the profit to all parties will be assured. The money expended in the erection of water-wheels or other works will circulate throughout the island in the payment of native labour, and will relieve the wants of many who, in the absence of land, must earn their livelihood by manual labour. "Water!" is the cry throughout this neglected island; it has been the cry in Eastern lands from time immemorial, when in the thirsty desert Moses smote the rock, and the stream gushed forth for multitudes; when Elijah mocked the priests of Baal with, "Call him louder!" in their vain appeal for rain, and the "little cloud, no bigger than a man's hand," rose upon the horizon in answer to his prayer. In the savage tribes of Africa, the "rain-maker" occupies the position of priest and chief. In England, the clergy offer prayers for either rain or for fine weather. In Cyprus the farmer places the small picture of the Virgin upon his field, before which he lights his tapers, which the wind extinguishes; at the same time THE WATER-SUPPLY IS CLOSE BENEATH HIS FEET, and the expenditure of a few pounds sterling would produce a permanent blessing and uninterrupted prosperity by practical common sense and labour, without any miraculous interposition in his behalf.

There are few countries where such facilities exist for irrigation, and the work should be commenced without delay. Should next year be one of drought like the spring of 1879, the greatest misery will befall the population; there is already sufficient disappointment in the want of progress since the British occupation, and the feeling will be intensified should the assistance of government be withheld in this crying necessity of artificial irrigation.

The Cypriote well-sinker is wonderfully clever in discovering springs, and I have already described the method of multiplying the water-power of one source by securing and concentrating the neighbouring sources. This work only requires money, and the inhabitants, without further assistance than loans secured by a water-rate upon the district, will rapidly develop the natural supply. There should be a special commission appointed, in each of the six districts of Cyprus, to investigate and report officially upon this subject. In forming the commission, care should be taken that the native element should predominate, and that no enthusiastic English engineer, blooming with new schemes, should thrust into shadow the Cyprian intelligence upon the working of their own systems. If I were an English engineer employed in any work, I should probably have the natural failing of enforcing my own opinions; but from many years' experience I have come to the conclusion that the inhabitants of a country are generally better qualified than strangers for giving practical opinions upon their own locations. There is plenty of intelligence in Cyprus; the people are not savages, but their fault is poverty, the natural inheritance of Turkish rule; and we, the English, have the power to make them rich, and to restore the ancient importance of the island. In England, at the time that I am writing, money is not worth 2 per cent. owing to the general depression of trade; the money-market has been in this plethoric or dropsical state for the last three years, and there appears to be no hope upon the commercial horizon of a favourable change. In Cyprus the resources are great, but the capital is wanting, and the strange anomaly is presented that the exchange of the British for the Turkish flag has not increased public confidence. Something must be done to change the present stupor; if Cypriotes were Candians (Cretans) their voices would be forcibly heard, and the Turkish rule beneath the British uniform would be quickly overthrown. The Cypriote, down-trodden for centuries, is like sodden tinder that will not awaken to the spark: he is what is called "easily governed;" which means an abject race, in which all noble aspirations have been stamped out by years of unremitting oppression and injustice; still, like the Cyprian ox, he ploughs the ground. It is the earth alone that yields the world's wealth: if we have no other thoughts but avarice, let us treat the Cypriote as we should his animal, and make him a wealth-producer. England has acquired the reputation of the civiliser of the world; it is in this character that we were expected to effect a magic change in the position of Cyprus; instead of which we have hitherto presented a miserable result of half-measures, where irresolution has reduced the brilliant picture of our widely-trumpeted political surprise to a dull "arrangement in whitey-brown" . . . which is the pervading tint of the Cyprian surface in the absence of artificial irrigation.

CHAPTER XV.

LIFE AT THE MONASTERY OF TROODITISSA.

The life at our quiet camp at Trooditissa was a complete calm: there could not be a more secluded spot, as no human habitation was near, except the invisible village of Phyni two miles deep beneath, at the mountain's base. The good old monk Neophitos knitted, and taught his boys always in the same daily spot: the swallows built their nests under the eaves of the monastery roof and beneath the arch which covered in the spring, and sat in domestic flocks upon the over-hanging boughs within a few feet of our breakfast-table, when their young could fly. Nightingales sang before sunset, and birds of many varieties occupied the great walnut-tree above our camp, and made the early morning cheerful with a chorus of different songs. There was no change from day to day, except in the progress of the gardens; the plums grew large: the mulberries ripened in the last week of July, and the shepherd's pretty children and the monastery boys were covered with red stains, as though from a battlefield, as they descended from the attractive boughs. It was a very peaceful existence, and I shall often look back with pleasure to our hermitage by the walls of the old monastery, which afforded a moral haven from all the storms and troubles that embitter life. On Sundays we sent a messenger for the post to the military camp at Troodos, about five and a half miles distant, and the arrival of letters and newspapers restored us for a couple of days to the outer world: after which we relapsed once more into the local quiescent state of complete rest. It must not be supposed that we were idle; there were always occupations which by degrees I hope improved the place, and to a certain degree the people. Occasionally I asked the old monks to sit and smoke their cigarettes in our "rachkooba," when they sipped their hot coffee, and explained difficult theological questions to my intense edification; of course I always listened, but never argued. My particular friend old Neophitos treated me to long stories which he imagined must be new and interesting, especially the history of Joseph and his brethren, which he several times recounted from beginning to end with tears of sympathy in his eyes at Joseph's love for the youngest brother Benjamin. The Garden of Eden, the Deluge, including the account of Noah's Ark, and several equally modern and entertaining stories, I always listened to with commendable attention. Yet even in this solitude, where the chapel-bell on Saturday night, and at daybreak upon Sunday mornings, was in harmony with the external peaceful surroundings, and it appeared as though discord could never enter the walls of Trooditissa, the old monks had their cares and difficulties.

The principal cause of trouble was "servants!" I was quite surprised, as I thought we were nearer heaven in this spot than in any earthly locality I had ever visited; but even here the question of "servants" was an irritation to the nerves of the patient monks. My own servants were excellent, and never quarrelled or complained; they appeared to have been mesmerised by the placid character of their position, and to have become angelic; especially in not fatiguing themselves through over-exertion. With the monks the case was different. In this quiet retreat, where man reigned alone, as Adam in the Garden of Eden; where the cares and anxieties of married life were unknown within the sacred walls of celibacy, a single representative of the other sex existed in the ubiquitous shape of a "maid of all work;" and as Eve caused the first trouble in the world, so the monastery "maid" disturbed the otherwise peaceful existence of Neophitos.

This maid's name was "Christina," and she received the munificent sum of one hundred piastres per annum as wages, which in English money would be fifteen shillings and sixpence every year. The world is full of ingratitude, and strange to say, Christina was dissatisfied, which naturally wounded the feelings of the good monks, as in addition to this large sum of money she received her food and clothes; the latter consisting of full trousers, and a confusion of light material, which, having no shape whatever, I could not describe. Christina, though young, was not pretty, and she was always either crying or scolding, which would of course spoil any beauty; while at the same time she was either washing all the clothes belonging to the whole establishment of monks (a very disagreeable business), or hanging them out to dry near the spring; or she was sweeping the monastery; or arranging the very dirty rooms of the establishment; or baking all the bread that was required; or cooking the dinner; or repairing all the old clothes which the monks wore when they were only fit for a paper-mill. As there was no special accommodation in the shape of a laundry, Christina had to collect sticks, and make a huge fire beneath a copper cauldron in the open air, into which she plunged all the different vestments of the monks and priests, and stewed them before washing. This was a Cyprian "maid of all work," whose gross ingratitude troubled the minds of her "pastors and masters;" and one day a peculiar mental disturbance pervaded the whole priestly establishment and caused a monasterial commotion, as, after a violent fit of temper attended by crying, Christina had declared solemnly that she "would stand it no longer," and "she wished TO BETTER HERSELF!"

Whenever there was a difficulty the monks came to me; why, I cannot imagine. If the shepherd's goats invaded their gardens and destroyed the onions and the beet-root crops, they applied to me. Of course I advised them to "fence their gardens," and they went away satisfied, but did not carry out the suggestion so in due time their crops were devoured. They now told me that THEY ALWAYS HAD DIFFICULTY WITH WOMEN! This new theory startled me almost as much as the novelty of the old monks' stories. They explained that YOUNG WOMEN WOULDN'T WORK, AND OLD WOMEN COULDN'T WORK. It had not occurred to them that a middle-aged woman might have combined all that they desired. Knowing their strict moral principles, I had suggested an "old woman" as the successor of Christina; as I explained to them that, to be in harmony with the establishment, a woman of a "certain age" as general servant would not detract from the religious character of the place. However I might argue, the old monk hesitated; but while the monk wavered, Christina's "monkey was up," and, taking her child in her arms, she started off without giving a "month's notice," and fairly left the monastery, with monks, priests, deacons, servants and the dogs all aghast and barking. There was nobody to wash the linen, to bake the bread, to sweep the rooms, to cook the dinner, to mend the clothes! Christina was gone, and the gentle sex was no longer represented in the monastery of Trooditissa.

I was sorry for Christina, but I was glad the child was gone; although I pitied the poor abandoned and neglected little creature with all my heart. As a rule, "maids of all work" should not be mothers, but if they are, they should endeavour to care for the unfortunate child. This wretched little thing was about two years old—a girl; its eyes were nearly closed with inflammation caused by dirt and neglect; it was naked, with the exception of a filthy rag that hung in tatters scarcely below its hips; and as its ill-tempered and over-worked mother alternately raved, or cried, the child, which even at this age depended mainly upon her nursing for its food, joined in a perpetual yell, which at length terminated in a faint and wearied moan, until it laid itself down upon the bare, hard stones, and fell asleep. It was a sad picture of neglect and misery; the shepherd's pretty children shunned it, and in its abandoned solitude the little creature had to amuse itself. The face looked like that of an old careworn person who had lost all pleasure in the world, and the child wandered about alone and uncared for; its only plaything was my good-tempered dog Wise, who allowed himself to be pulled about and teased in the most patient manner. I cured the child's eyes after some days' attention, and my wife had it washed, and made it decent clothes. This little unusual care, with a few kind words in a strange language only interpreted by a smile, attracted the poor thing to the tent, where it would sit for hours, until it at length found solace in the child's great refuge, sleep. It would always follow Lady Baker to and fro along the only level walk we had, from the tent to the running spring, and would sit down by her side directly she arrived at our favourite seat—a large flat rock looking down upon a precipitous descent to the ravine some 500 feet below, and commanding a view of the low country and the distant sea. It was an obstinate and perverse little creature, and it insisted upon climbing upon rocks and standing upon the extreme edge overhanging a precipice. If it had been the loved and only offspring of fond parents, heiress to a large estate, it would of course have tumbled over, in the absence of nurses and a throng of careful attendants, but never having been cared for since its birth, it possessed an instinctive knowledge of self-preservation, and declined to relieve its mother of an extra anxiety. It was an agreeable change to lose the sound of a child's constant wailing, and I suggested to the monks that its presence was hardly in accordance with the severe aspect of the establishment. There was some mystery connected with it of which I am still ignorant, as I never ask questions; but it is at the least ill-judged and thoughtless on the part of "maids of all work" to engage themselves to any situation where the kissing of a rock, or a holy effigy, may lead to complications. It was of no use to moralise; Christina was gone, together with the child; there was absolute quiet in the monastery; neither the scolding of the mother, nor the crying of an infant, was heard. The monks looked more austere than ever, and remained in unwashed linen, until they at length succeeded in engaging a charming substitute in a middle-aged maid of all work of seventy-five!

About the 20th July the swallows disappeared, and I have no idea to what portion of the world they would migrate at this season. In the low country the heat is excessive, and even at the altitude of Trooditissa the average, since the 1st of the month, had been at 7 A.M. 70.7 degrees—3 P.M. 77.3 degrees.

The birds that had sung so cheerfully upon our arrival had become silent. There was a general absence of the feathered tribe, but occasionally a considerable number of hoopoes and jays had appeared for a few days, and had again departed, as though changing their migrations, and resting for a time upon the cool mountains.

I frequently rambled among the highest summits with my dogs, but there was a distressing and unaccountable absence of game; in addition to which there was no scent, as the barren rocks were heated in the sun like bricks taken from the kiln. The under-growth up to 4500 feet afforded both food and covert for hares, but they were very scarce. A peculiar species of dwarf prickly broom covers the ground in some places, and the young shoots are eagerly devoured by goats; this spreads horizontally, and grows in such dense masses about one foot from the surface that it will support the weight of a man.

When grubbed up by the root it forms an impervious mat about three or four feet in diameter, and supplies an excellent door to the entrance of a garden, to prevent the incursions of goats or fowls. The Berberris grew in large quantities, which, together with the foliage of the dwarf ilex, is the goat's favourite food. Not far from the village of Prodomos, upon the neighbouring heights, I found, for the first time in Cyprus, the juniper, which appeared to be kept low by the constant grazing of the numerous herds.

The walking over the mountains is most fatiguing, and utterly destructive to boots, owing to the interminable masses of sharp rocks and stones of all sizes, which quite destroy the pleasure of a lengthened stroll. The views from the various elevated ridges are exceedingly beautiful, and exhibit the numerous villages surrounded by vineyards snugly clustered in obscure dells among the mountains at great elevations above the sea. Prodomos is about 4300 feet above the level, and can be easily distinguished by the foliage of numerous spreading walnut-trees and the large amount of cultivation by which it is surrounded.

There was no difficulty in gaining the highest point of the island from our camp, as a zigzag rocky path led to the top of a ridge about 600 feet directly above the monastery, which ascended with varying inclinations to the summit of Troodos, about 2100 feet above Trooditissa; by the maps 6590 feet above the sea, but hardly so much by recent measurement.

The moufflon, or wild sheep, exists in Cyprus, but in the absence of protection they have been harassed at all seasons by the natives, who have no idea of sparing animals during the breeding season. The present government have protected them by a total prohibition, under a penalty of ten pounds to be inflicted upon any person discovered in killing them. In the absence of all keepers or guardians of the forests, it would be difficult to prove a case, and I have no doubt that the natives still attempt the sport, although from the extreme wariness of the animals they are most difficult to approach. The authorities should employ some dependable sportsman to shoot a certain number of rams which are now in undue proportion, as the ewes with young lambs have been an easier prey to the unsparing Cypriotes.

Absurd opinions have been expressed concerning the numbers of moufflon now remaining upon the island, and it would be quite impossible to venture upon a conjecture, as there is a very large area of the mountains perfectly wild and unoccupied to the west of Kyka monastery, extending to Poli-ton-Khrysokus, upon which the animals are said to be tolerably numerous. There are some upon the Troodos range, but from all accounts they do not exceed fifteen.

On 2nd July I started at 4 A.M. with a shepherd lad for the highest point of Troodos, hoping by walking carefully to see moufflon among some of the numerous ravines near the summit, which are seldom invaded by the flocks of goats and their attendants. I took a small rifle with me as a companion which is seldom absent in my walks, and although I should have rigidly respected the government prohibition in the case of ewes, or even of rams at a long shot that might have been uncertain and hazardous, I should at the same time have regarded a moufflon with good horns at a range under 150 yards, in the Abrahamic light of "a ram caught in a thicket" that had been placed in my way for the purpose of affording me a specimen.

On arrival at the top of the ridge above the monastery the view was superb. We looked down a couple of thousand feet into deep and narrow valleys rich in vineyards; the mountains rose in dark masses upon the western side, covered with pine forests, which at this distance did not exhibit the mutilations of the axe. At this early hour the sea was blue and clear, as the sun had not yet heated the air and produced the usual haze which destroys the distant views: and the tops of the lower mountains above Omodos and Chilani appeared almost close beneath upon the south, their vine-covered surface producing a rich contrast to the glaring white marls that were cleared for next year's planting. The top of Troodos was not visible, as we continued the ascent along the ridge, with the great depths of ravines and pine-covered steeps upon either side, but several imposing heights in front, and upon the right, seemed to closely rival the true highest point.

As we ascended, the surface vegetation became scanty; the rocks in many places had been thickly clothed with the common fern growing in dense masses from the soil among the interstices; the white cistus and the purple variety had formed a gummy bed of plants which, together with several aromatic herbs, emitted a peculiar perfume in the cool morning air. These now gave place to the hardy berberris which grew in thick prickly bushes at long intervals, leaving a bare surface of rocks between them devoid of vegetation. There was little of geological interest; gneiss and syenite predominated, with extremely large crystals of hornblende in the latter rock, that would have afforded handsome slabs had not the prevailing defect throughout Cyprus rendered all blocks imperfect through innumerable cracks and fissures. A peculiar greenish and greasy-looking rock resembling soapstone was occasionally met with in veins, and upon close examination I discovered it to be the base of asbestos. The surface of this green substance was like polished horn, which gradually became fibrous, and in some specimens developed towards the extremity into the true white hairy condition of the well-known mineral cotton.

We were near the summit of the mountain, and arrived at an ancient camp that had been arranged with considerable judgment by a series of stone walls with flanking defences for the protection of each front. This was many centuries ago the summer retreat of the Venetian government, and it had formed a sanatorium. This extends to the summit of the mountain, where fragments of tiles denote the former existence of houses. In the absence of water it would have been impossible to adopt the usual custom of mud-covered roofs, therefore tiles had been carried from the low country. It is supposed that the stations fell into decay at about the period of the Turkish conquest.

A rattle of loose stones upon the opposite side of a ravine suddenly attracted my attention; and two moving objects at about 230 yards halted, and faced us in the usual manner of inquiry when wild animals are disturbed to windward of their enemy. The rocks were bare, and their cafe-au-lait colour exactly harmonised with that of the two moufflon, which I now made out to be fine rams with large and peculiar heads. Motioning to my shepherd lad to sit quietly upon the ground, upon which I was already stretched, I examined them carefully with my glass. Had they not been moving when first observed I should not have discovered them, so precisely did their skins match the rocky surface of the steep inclination upon which they stood. They remained still for about two minutes, affording me an excellent opportunity of examination. The horns were thick, and rose from the base like those of the ibex, turning backwards, but they twisted forward from the first bend, and the points came round towards the front in the ordinary manner of the sheep. Like all the wild sheep of India and other countries, the coat was devoid of wool, but appeared to be a perfectly smooth surface of dense texture. It was too far for a certain shot, especially as the animals were facing me, which is always an unsatisfactory position even when at a close range.

I put up the 200 yards sight, and raised the rifle to my shoulder, merely to try the view; but when sighted I could not clearly distinguish the animal from the rocks, and I would not fire to wound. My shepherd lad at this moment drew his whistle, and, without orders, began to pipe in a wild fashion, which he subsequently informed me should have induced the moufflon to come forward towards the sound; instead of which, they cantered off, then stopped again, as we had the wind, and at length they disappeared among the rocks and pines. It would be almost impossible to obtain a shot at these wary creatures by approaching from below, as they are generally upon high positions from which they look down for expected enemies, and the noise of the loose rocks beneath the feet of a man walking up the mountains would be sure to attract attention. The only chance of success would be to pass the night on the summit of Troodos, and at daybreak to work downwards.

I made a long circuit in the hope of again meeting the two rams, during which I found many fresh tracks of the past night, but nothing more.

The summit of the mountain was disappointing, as the haze occasioned by the heat in the low country obscured the distant view. It was 8.10. A.M., and the air was still deliciously cool and fresh upon the highest point of Cyprus, which affords a complete panorama that in the month of October or during early spring must be very beautiful. Even now I could distinguish Larnaca, Limasol, Morphu, all in opposite directions, in addition to the sea surrounding the island upon every point except the east. The lofty coast of Caramania, which had formed a prominent object in the landscape when at Kyrenia, was now unfortunately hidden within the haze.

From this elevated position I could faintly hear the military band practising at the camp of the 20th Regiment, invisible, about a mile distant among the pine-forests, at a lower level of 700 feet. There were no trees upon the rounded knoll which forms the highest point of Cyprus: these must have been cleared away and rooted out when the ancient camp was formed, and the pines have not re-grown, for the simple reason that no higher ground exists from which the rains could have washed the cones to root upon a lower level.

I now examined every ravine with the greatest caution in the hopes of meeting either the two rams, or other moufflon, but I only came across a solitary ewe with a lamb about four months old; which I saw twice during my walk round the mountain tops. Upon arriving during my descent at the highest spring of Troodos, where the cold water dripped into a narrow stream bed, I lay down beneath a fine shady cypress, and having eaten two hard-boiled eggs and drunk a cupful of the pure icy water mixed with a tinge of Geneva from my flask, I watched till after noon in the hope that my two rams might arrive to drink. Nothing came except a few tame goats without a goatherd; therefore I descended the abominable stones which rattled down the mountain side, and by the time that I arrived at our camp at Trooditissa, my best shooting boots of quagga hide, that were as dear to me as my rifle, were almost cut to pieces.

There was a terrible picture of destruction throughout the forests of Troodos. Near the summit, the pines and cypress were of large growth, but excepting the cypress, there were scarcely any trees unscathed, and the ground was covered by magnificent spars that were felled only to rot upon the surface.

I was not sorry to arrive at the shepherd's hut upon the ridge overhanging the monastery upon my return. The good wife was as usual busy in making cheeses from the goat's milk, which is a very important occupation throughout Cyprus. The curd was pressed into tiny baskets made of myrtle wands, which produced a cheese not quite so large as a man's fist. I think these dry and tasteless productions of the original Cyprian dairy uneatable, unless grated when old and hard; but among the natives they are highly esteemed, and form a considerable article of trade and export. Cesnola mentions that 2,000,000 (two million) cheeses per annum are made in Cyprus of this small kind, which weigh from half a pound to three-quarters. I have frequently met droves of donkeys heavily laden with panniers filled with these small cheeses, which, although representing important numbers, become insignificant when computed by weight.

During our stay at Trooditissa we occasionally obtained eels from a man who caught them in the stream at the base of the mountains; this is the only fresh-water fish in Cyprus that is indigenous. Some persons have averred that the gold-fish dates its origin from this island; this is a mistake, as it is not found elsewhere than in ornamental ponds and cisterns in the principal towns. It is most probable that it was introduced by the Venetians who traded with the far East, and it may have arrived from China.

The streams below the mountains contain numerous crabs of a small species seldom larger than two inches and a half across the shell, to a maximum of three inches; these are in season until the middle of June, after which they become light and empty. When alive they are a brownish green, but when boiled they are the colour of the ordinary crab, and are exceedingly full in flesh, and delicate. The shell is extremely hard compared to the small size, and the claws must be broken by a sharp blow with the back of a knife upon a block.

We frequently had them first boiled and then pounded in a mortar to a paste, then mixed with boiling water and strained through a sieve; after which cream should be added, together with the required seasonings for a soup. I imagine that the common green crabs of the English coasts, which are caught in such numbers and thrown away by the fishermen, would be almost as good if treated in the same manner for potage.

The calm monotony of a life at Trooditissa was disturbed every now and then at distant intervals by trifling events which only served to prove that peculiar characters existed in the otherwise heavenly atmosphere which showed our connection with the world below.

One night a burglar attempted an entrance; but the man (who was a carpenter) having been previously suspected, was watched, and having been seen in the middle of the night to place a ladder against the outer gallery, by which he ascended, and with false keys opened a door that led to the store-room of the monastery, he was suddenly pounced upon by two strong young priests and fairly captured. On the following morning the monks applied to me, and as usual I vainly pleaded my unofficial position. I was either to do or to say something. If the man was sent to Limasol, thirty-five miles distant, the monks would have the trouble and expense of appearing as prosecutors; the robber would be imprisoned for perhaps a couple of years, during which his family would starve. I could offer no advice. I simply told them that if any robber should attempt to enter my tent I should not send him to Limasol, but I should endeavour to make the tent so disagreeable to him that he would never be tempted to revisit the premises from the attraction of pleasing associations. I explained to the monks that although a severe thrashing with stout mulberry sticks would, if laid on by two stout fellows, have a most beneficial effect upon the burglar, and save all the trouble of a reference to Limasol, at the same time that the innocent wife and family would not be thrown upon their relatives, they must not accept my views of punishment as any suggestion under the present circumstances.

About half an hour after this conversation I heard a sound of well-inflicted blows, accompanied by cries which certainly denoted a disagreeable physical sensation, within the courtyard of the monastery, and to my astonishment I found that my interpreter and willing cook Christo had volunteered as one of the executioners, and the burglar, having been severely thrashed, was turned out of the monastery and thrust down the path towards the depths of Phyni. Christo was a very good fellow, and he sometimes reminded me of a terrier ready to obey or take a hint from his master upon any active subject, while at others, in his calmer moments, he resembled King Henry's knights, who interpreted their monarch's wishes respecting Thomas a-Becket.

On 6th June we had been somewhat startled by the sudden appearance in the afternoon of a man perfectly naked, who marched down the approach from the spring and entered the monastery-yard in a dignified and stage-like attitude as though he had the sole right of entree. At first sight I thought he was mad, but on reference to the monks I discovered he was perfectly sane. It appeared that he was a Greek about forty-five years of age, who was a native of Kyrenia, and for some offence twenty years ago he had been ordered by the priests to do penance in this extraordinary manner. His body, originally white, had become quite as brown as that of an Arab of the desert; he possessed no clothing nor property of any kind, not even a blanket during winter; but he wandered about the mountains and visited monasteries and certain villages, where he obtained food as charity. He would never accept money (probably from the absence of pockets), neither would he venture near Turkish villages, as he had several times received a thrashing from the men for thus presenting himself before their women, and it is to be regretted that the Cypriotes had not followed the Turkish example, which would have quickly cured his eccentricity. He was a strong, well-built man, with good muscular development; his head was bald with the exception of a little hair upon either side, and he was interesting to a certain extent as an example of what a European can endure when totally exposed to the sun and weather. Sometimes he slept like a wild animal beneath a rock among the mountains, or in a cave, when such a luxurious retreat might offer a refuge; at other times he was received and sheltered by the priests or people. This individual's name was Christodilos, and according to my notes taken at the time, he is described as "originally a labourer of Kyrenia; parents dead: one brother and two sisters living."

CHAPTER XVI.

SOMETHING ABOUT TAXATION.

The monastery gardens of Trooditissa at the close of July exhibited the great fruit-producing power of the soil and climate at this high altitude, but at the same time they were examples of the arbitrary and vexatious system of Turkish taxation, which remains unchanged and is still enforced by the British authorities. I shall describe this in detail, and leave the question of possibility of development under such wholesale tyranny to the judgment of the public. It is difficult to conceive how any persons can expect that Europeans, especially Englishmen, will become landowners and settle in Cyprus when subjected to such unfair and irritating restrictions.

    NO PRODUCE CAN BE REMOVED FROM ANY GARDEN UNTIL IT SHALL HAVE BEEN
    VALUED FOR TAXATION BY THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL APPOINTED FOR THAT
    PURPOSE, at the rate of 10 per cent. ad valorem.

At first sight this system appears incredible, but upon an examination of the details our wonder ceases at the general absence of cultivated vegetables and the propagation of superior qualities of fruits. If the object of the government were purposely to repress all horticultural enterprise, and to drive the inhabitants to the Nebuchadnezzar-like grazing upon wild herbs, the present system would assuredly accomplish the baneful end. The Cypriotes are called indolent, and are blamed by travellers for their apathy in contenting themselves with wild vegetables, when their soil is eminently adapted in the varying altitudes and climates for the production of the finest qualities of fruits and green-stuffs. I will imagine that an Englishman of any class may be placed in the following position of a cultivator, which he assuredly would be, if foolish enough to become a proprietor in Cyprus.

I am at this moment looking down from the shade of the great walnut-tree upon the terraced gardens and orchards beneath, which are rich in potatoes of excellent quality, onions, beet-root, &c.; together with walnuts, pears, apples, plums, filberts, figs, and mulberries. The pears and plums are of several varieties, some will ripen late, others are now fit to gather, but nothing can be touched until the valuer shall arrive; he is expected in ten days; by which time many of the plums will have fallen to the ground, and the swarming rats will have eaten half the pears. The shepherds' children and the various monastery boys live in the boughs like monkeys, and devour the fruit ripe or unripe, from morning till evening, with extraordinary impunity; women who arrive from the low country with children to be christened place them upon the ground, and climb the pear-trees; neither colic nor cholera is known in this sanctified locality. The natives of the low country who arrive at the monastery daily with their laden mules from villages upon the other side of the mountains, en route to Limasol, immediately ascend the attractive trees and feast upon the plums; at the same time they fill their handkerchiefs and pockets with pears, &c., as food during their return journey. "There will not be much trouble for the valuer when he arrives," I remarked to the monks, "if you allow such wholesale robbery of your orchards."

"On the contrary," they replied, "the difficulty will be increased; we never sell the produce of the gardens, which is kept for the support of all those who visit us, but we have much trouble with the valuation of the fruits for taxation. It is hard that we shall have to pay for what the public consume at our expense, but it will be thus arranged. . . . The valuer will arrive, and he will find some trees laden with unripe fruit, others that have been stripped by plunder; the potatoes, &c., will be still in the ground. We shall have a person to represent our interests in the valuation as a check upon the official; but in the end he will have his own way. We shall explain that certain trees are naked, as the fruit became ripe and was stolen by the boys. 'Then you ought to have taken more care of it,' he will reply; `how many okes of plums were there upon those trees?' We shall have to guess the amount. `Nonsense!' he will exclaim to whatever figure we may mention, 'there must have been double that quantity: I shall write down 1500 (if we declared 1000), which will split the difference.' ("Splitting the difference" is the usual method of arranging an Oriental dispute, as instanced by Solomon's well-known suggestion of dividing the baby.).

"We shall protest," continued the monks, "and this kind of inquisitorial haggling will take place concerning every tree, until the valuer shall have concluded his labour, and about one-third more than the actual produce of the orchards will have been booked against us; upon which we must pay a tax of 10 per cent., at the same time that the risks of insects, rats, and the expenses of gathering remain to the debit of the garden. In fact," said the poor old monks, "our produce is a trouble to us, as personally we derive no benefit; the public eat the fruit, and the government eats the taxes."

There were curious distinctions and exceptions in this arbitrary form of taxation: if a fruit-tree grew within the monastery courtyard it was exempt; thus the great walnut-tree beneath which we camped was free. It was really cheering to find that we were living under some object that was not taxed in Cyprus; but the monk continued, and somewhat dispelled the illusion . . . "This tree produced in one year 20,000 walnuts, and it averages from 12,000 to 15,000; but when the crops of our other trees are estimated, the official valuer always insists upon a false maximum, so as to include the crop of the courtyard walnut in the total amount for taxation."

The potatoes, like all other horticultural productions, are valued while growing, and the same system of extravagant estimate is pursued.

This system is a blight of the gravest character upon the local industry of the inhabitants, and it is a suicidal and unstatesmanlike policy that crushes and extinguishes all enterprise. What Englishman would submit to such a prying and humiliating position? And still it is expected that the resources of the island will be developed by British capital! The great want for the supply of the principal towns is market-gardens. Imagine an English practical market-gardener, fresh from the ten-mile radius of Covent Garden, where despatch and promptitude mean fortune and success: he could not cut his cauliflowers in Cyprus until his crop of unblown plants had been valued by an official and while he might be waiting for this well-hated spirit of evil, his cauliflower-heads would have expanded into coral-like projections and have become utterly valueless except for pig-feeding. I cannot conceive a more extravagant instance of oppression than this system of taxation, which throws enormous powers of extortion into the hands of the official valuer. This person can oppose by delays and superlative estimates the vital interests of the proprietors; if the property is large, the owner will be only too glad to silence his opposition by a considerable bribe; the poor must alike contribute, or submit to be the victim of delays which, with perishable articles such as vegetables, represent his ruin. Is it surprising that the villages of the desolate plain of Messaria are for the most part devoid of fruit-trees? We are preaching to the Cypriotes the advantage of planting around their dwellings, as though they were such idiots as to be ignorant that "he who sows the wind will reap the whirlwind." If they plant fruit-trees under the present laws they are planting curses which will entail the misery of inquisitorial visits and the most objectionable and oppressive form of an unjust taxation. As the law at present stands, the amount of fruit is ridiculously small, and the quality inferior, while cultivated vegetables are difficult to obtain. Can any other result be expected under the paralysing effect of Turkish laws? which unfortunately British officials have the questionable honour of administering.

I have heard officials condemn in the strongest terms the laws they are obliged to enforce. There are few persons who are obtuse to the sense of injustice, but at the same time the suggestion has been expressed that an extreme difficulty would be experienced should the taxes be collected in any other form than dimes. I cannot see the slightest truth in this disclaimer of responsibility for Turkish evils, and I believe the present difficulty might be overcome with little trouble by a system of rating the land ad valorem.

The soil and general value of properties in Cyprus vary as in England and other countries according to quality and position. There is land contiguous to market towns of much higher value than the same quality of soil in remote districts; there are farms supplied with water either naturally or artificially, which are far more valuable than others which are dependent upon favourable seasons. Land which formerly produced madder was of extreme value, and should have been adjudged accordingly; but why should not all properties of every description throughout Cyprus be rated and taxed in due proportion? The valuation should be arranged by local councils. The vineyards which produced the expensive wines should be rated higher than those of inferior quality. Gardens should be rated according to their distance from a market; fields in proportion to their water-supply and the quality of the soil. The Cypriotes do not complain of the amount of 10 per cent. taxation under the name of dimes, but they naturally object to the arbitrary and vexatious system of inquisitorial visits, together with the delays and loss of time occasioned by the old Turkish system. "Rate us, and let us know the limit of our responsibility"—that is the natural desire of the inhabitants. If the industries of the country are to be developed they must be unfettered; but if weighed down by restrictions and vexatious interference, they will hardly discover the benefit of a change to British masters.

Some people in Cyprus make use of an argument in favour of the present system of dimes or collecting in kind by tenths, which does not commend itself by logical reasoning. They say, "if you rate the land ad valorem, and establish a monetary payment of 10 per cent., you will simply burden the poor land-holder with debt during a season of drought, when his property will produce nothing. According to the present system he and the government alike share the risk of seasons; if the land produces nothing, there can be no dimes." It does not appear to have occurred to these reasoners that in such seasons of scarcity the taxation could be easily reduced as a temporary measure of relief according to the valuation of the local medjlis or council; but I claim the necessity of artificial irrigation that will secure the land from such meteorological disasters, and will enable both the cultivator and the government to calculate upon a dependable average of crops, instead of existing upon the fluctuations of variable seasons.

The district of Larnaca will offer a fair example of the usual methods of taxation, and as the figures have been most kindly supplied by the authorities of the division, they can be thoroughly relied upon.

The revenues of the district (Larnaca) are derived from the following sources:—

1. Dimes (i.e. tenths of the produce)—in some instances may
            be paid in kind.
2. Property Tax—4 piastres per 1000 upon the value of
            immovable property, such as buildings, land, trees;
            this is classed as 1st class Verghi.
3. Charge upon Income derived from Rents—40 piastres
            per 1000; classed as 2nd class Verghi.
4. Charge on Trade Profits—30 piastres per 1000; 3rd class
            Verghi.
5. Exemption from Military Service—this tax levied upon
            Christians only, at the rate of 5000 piastres for 180 males.
6. Duty upon Sale of Horses, Mules, Donkeys, Camels, and
   Cattle—1 piastre in every 40 upon price; also tax on goods
            weighed by public measurer.
7. Tax on Flocks of Sheep and Goats—2.5 piastres per head.
            This is not levied until the animal shall be one year old.

In 1877 the amount received was—

Piastres. Paras. 1. Dimes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 822,000 2. Property Tax. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221,897 24 3. Rent Charge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20,089 32 4. Tax on Trade-Profits . . . . . . . . . . . 65,340 20 5. Military Exemption. . . . . . . . . . . . . 153,333 25 6. Sales of Animals, Measures, &c. . . . . . . 450,000 7. Sheep and Goats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200,000 _______ ___

1,932,659 101

The return of sheep and goats in the district of Larnaca during the year 1878, and comprising 36 villages, was rendered as 47,841.

The following taxes are payable by inhabitants of
Scala and the neighbourhood:—

JANUARY, 1879.

1. The tithe of agricultural produce, including silk, payable in some cases in kind, in others in money. 2. Tax in lieu of military service, 5000 copper piastres for 180 Christian males. 3. Verghi (a), 4 per 1000 on the purchasing value of houses, land, or immovable property. 4. Verghi (b), 4 per cent. on the rent of immovable property, or houses not occupied by their owners. 5. Verghi (c), 3 per cent. on profits and professions. 6. Tax on sheep, 2.5 silver piastres each. 7. Tax on goats, 2 silver piastres each. 8. Tax on pigs, 3 silver piastres each. 9. Tax on wood and charcoal. Wood for carpenters' uses pays 20 per cent. on the value at the place of production, and a further 5 per cent. on the amount of the tax on coming into the town.

        Firewood pays 12 per cent. on the value at the place of
         production, and a further 5 per cent. as above.

Charcoal pays 2 piastres per 100 okes.

10. Tax on goods weighed, one half para per oke. (In the case of
           wood and charcoal, hay, chopped straw, lime, and onions,
           the tax begins at a weight of 50 okes, and at a rate of 5
           paras for 50 okes.)
11. Tax on grain measured, 2 paras per kilo paid by the buyer,
           and 2 paras per kilo paid by the seller. If measured for the
           sole convenience of the owner, 2 paras per kilo.
12. Octroi. Every load brought from the villages to the town pays
           a tax of one oke per load, or in money, according to the
           market rate of the goods.
13. Tax on the sale of mules, horses, donkeys, oxen, and
           camels in the town, 1 para per piastre of the price.
14. Property tax (municipal) paid by owners:—
          On houses let to tenants, 5 per cent. per annum.
          On houses inhabited by the owners, 3 per cent. per annum.
15. Tax on camels (M.) 2 shillings each per annum.
16. Tax on carts (M.) belonging to and working in Larnaca and
           Marina townships, 1*. each per annum.
17. Corvee. Forced labour on roads four days a year.
18. Shop licences (M.) in classes, 10*, 5*., 2*., 1*., 10 shillings.
19. Wine licences (C.H.) in classes, 25 per cent., 12.5 per cent.,
           6.25 per cent. on rental.
20. Licences to merchants, bankers, &c., (M.) in classes, 10*.,
           5*., 2*., 1*.
21. Monopolies. Salt, gunpowder.
22. Custom House duties 8 per cent. on imports, 1 per cent.
           exports.

           Custom House duty on wine, 10 per cent.
           Custom House duty on imported tobacco, 75 per cent;
                on home grown, or imported unmanufactured,
                10 pence a pound.
23. Stamps, transfer and succession duties. Mubashine. Voted
             to remain in force until March 1st, 1879.

[Transcriber's Note: Omitted table of villages on page 388 which was hard to read.]

There are other taxes according to the laws of succession upon the death of an individual which I give in the same words as furnished to me by the authority:—

Memorandum of the Defter Hakkani about the Transfer in Succesion of
Property.

When a man dies his properties must be duly transferred to his heirs, who must apply to the authorities within six months, in order to have the transfer made.

The transfer is made by giving a new Kotshan (Title), to the heirs in exchange for the Kotshan of the deceased.

The right to the inheritance is stated by the laws as follows:—

1st, To the son or daughter; in want of which, 2nd, to the grandson and granddaughter; in want of which, 3rd, to the father and mother; in want of which, 4th, to the brother from the same father and mother; in want of which, 5th, to the sister from the same father and mother; in want of which, 6th, to the brother from the same mother; and in want of which, 7th, to the sister from the same mother.

The grandson and the granddaughter from right to the inheritance of the share belonging to their father, who may have died before the death of their grandfather; they inherit together with their uncles and aunts as another direct son or daughter of the grandfather.

In all above stated degrees of inheritance, except in the 1st and 2nd, the husband or wife has right to the fourth share of the land left by the husband or wife.

This is for property in land (Arazi).

As to the freehold property (Emlak), the male inhabitants two-thirds and the female one-third; but it is very difficult to enumerate the various shades of division which are always made by the cadis according to the Cheni law; there is no Nizam law in this respect.

All system of endorsment on Kotshan is abolished.

The duty on transfer in succession of a freehold property is half the fees on transfer by sale.

In transferring by sale the fees are 1 per cent. on the value, if this freehold property is a real one (Emlaki Serfi); and 3 per cent. if it is vacouf freehold property (Emlak Meocoofi). Besides this 3 piastres as price of paper, and 1 piastre as clerks' fees (Riataki) are paid for every new Kotshan.

The lands (Arazi) pay 5 per cent. indifferently on transfer by sale and on transfer by succession.

The custom is to value lands at one year's rental, or value of products.

If a house is occupied by the owner no tax on rental is demanded; the only tax demanded in that case being that on the proportionate value.

The proportionate values of real properties are not assessed for a fixed period. Therefore the value, once assessed, can remain the same for many years, or it can be altered in the annual inspections of the Vakouat Riatibs according to an increase or decrease of value that may take place on account of repairs, a general rise of value, or partial or entire destruction by fire, rain, &c.

The poverty of the agricultural classes was so generally acknowledged even by the Turkish administration that it was absolutely necessary to relieve them by some external assistance; it was therefore resolved in 1869 to create an "Agricultural Bank and a Locust Fund;" the principles of this establishment are sufficiently original to attract attention.

In 1871 the Turkish government issued a decree that all cultivators of the ground should pay to the authorities a sum of money equal to the price of one kilo of wheat and one of barley for every pair of oxen in their possession, in order to create a capital for the new bank. The number of oxen would represent the scale of every holding, as they would exhibit the proportion of ploughs required upon the farm, and thus yield an approximate estimate of the area.

This arbitrary call upon the resources of the impoverished farmers was an eccentric financial operation in the ostensible cause of assistance, but it produced a capital of 169,028 piastres. The rate of interest upon loans to individuals, or for particular districts, for the purpose of destroying locusts was 8 per cent. previous to the year 1875, and was increased to 12 per cent. since that period. Receipts for all sums borrowed for the public benefit of locust destruction were signed by the head-men and members of councils of villages.

At first sight the establishment of an agricultural bank sounded propitious as a step in the right direction, but, according to the conditions of all loans, it became usurious, and saddled the unfortunate farmers after a few bad seasons with debts that could never be paid off. If X borrowed 1000 pounds, he received only 880 pounds, as the year's interest was deducted in advance, but he was afterwards charged compound interest at 12 per cent. upon the whole 1000 pounds. Compound interest at 12 per cent. means speedy ruin.

Upon an examination of the accounts, the whole affair represents apparently large figures in piastres, which when reduced to pounds sterling presents a miserable total that proves the failure of the enterprise. As I have already stated, a "bank" could not succeed in Cyprus if it were established specially to benefit the agriculturist; money can always command 10 per cent., while the farmer should obtain the loans necessary for irrigation at a maximum of 6 per cent. if he is really to be encouraged. This can only be accomplished through a Government or National Bank, expressly organised for the purpose of developing the agricultural interests. As the government can obtain any amount at 4 per cent., the National Bank could well afford to lend at 6, especially as the loan would be secured by a first mortgage, to take precedence of all other claims upon the property.

The "Locust Fund" was an admirable institution which has achieved great results. There can be little doubt that throughout the world's history man has exhibited a lamentable apathy in his passive submission to the depredations of the insect tribe, whereas by a system of organisation he would at the least have mitigated the scourge which has in many instances resulted in absolute famine. At one time the plague of locusts was annually expected in Cyprus as a natural advent like the arrival of swallows in the usual season, and when the swarms were extreme the crops were devoured throughout the island, and swept completely from the surface, entailing general ruin. The cultivation of cotton, which should be one of the most important industries, has been much restricted from the fear of locusts, as they appear in May, when the tender young plants are a few inches above the ground and are the first objects of attack.

It is related that when under the Venetians, Cyprus annually exported 30,000 bales or 6,600,000 lbs. of cotton. In 1877 the consular reports estimated the entire produce of the island at 2000 bales of 200 okes per bale, or 1,100,000 lbs., equal to only one-sixth of the original Venetian export.

The steps taken to destroy the locusts have so far diminished their numbers that in certain districts the production of cotton might be largely extended. M. Mattei, and Said Pacha when governor of Cyprus, combined to make war upon the locust swarms by means of a simple but effective method, which will render their names historical as the greatest benefactors in an island that has seldom known aught but oppressors.

The idea originated with Signor Richard Mattei, who is the largest landed proprietor in Cyprus. It is much to be regretted that professional entomologists can seldom assist us in the eradication of insect plagues; they can explain their habits, but they are useless as allies against their attacks. M. Mattei had observed that the young locusts invariably marched straight ahead, and turned neither to the right or left; he had also remarked that upon arrival at an obstacle they would endeavour to climb over, instead of going round it. Under these peculiarities of natural instinct a very simple arrangement sufficed to lead them to destruction. Pits were dug about three or four feet deep at right angles with the line of march, and screens of cotton cloth edged at the bottom with oil-skin were arranged something after the fashion of stop-nets for ground game in covert-shooting in England. This wall, with a slippery groundwork, prevented the insects from proceeding. As they never turn back, they were obliged to search sideways for a passage, and were thus led into the pits in millions, where they were destroyed by burying the masses beneath heaps of earth. If a few gallons of petroleum were sprinkled over them, and fire applied, much trouble would be saved. This is a crude method of insect destruction which could be improved upon, but great praise is due to the efforts of M. Richard Mattei and Said Pacha for having devoted their energies so successfully to the eradication of a scourge which proved its ancient importance from the Biblical registration of a curse upon the Egyptians.

There is a reward given by government for the destruction of locust eggs. Each female deposits two small cases or sheaths beneath the ground, containing thirty or forty eggs in each. The position is easily distinguished by a shining slimy substance. A certain sum per oke is given, and the people gladly avail themselves of the opportunity of earning money at the same time that they destroy the common enemy.

The British administration is keenly alive to the importance of this warfare, and I have frequently met commissioners of districts galloping in hot haste, as though in pursuit of a retreating enemy, towards some quarter where the appearance of locust swarms may have been reported, in order to take immediate measures for their destruction.

Unfortunately the locust is not the only enemy of cotton cultivation, but the (to my mind) abominable system of dimes, or tenths of produce to be valued while growing, restricts the cultivator to an inferior variety that will remain within the pod, instead of expanding when liberated by ripening.

The cultivation of cotton differs according to the many varieties of the plant. Pliny described the "wool-bearing trees of Ethiopia," and I have myself seen the indigenous cotton thriving in a wild state in those parts from whence they were first introduced to Egypt, during the reign of Mehemet Ali, grandfather of the Khedive. It is well known that although comparatively a recent article of cultivation in Egypt, it has become one of the most important exports from that country. Cotton of the first quality requires a peculiar combination of local conditions. Water must be at command whenever required during the various stages of cultivation; and perfectly dry weather must be assured when the crop is ripe and fit to gather. The collection extends over many days, as the pods do not burst at the same period. Some of the most valuable kinds detach easily from the expanded husk and fall quickly to the ground, which entails constant attention, and the quality would deteriorate unless labour is always at hand to gather the cotton before it shall fall naturally from the plant.

It will be therefore understood that, although many soils may be highly favourable to the growth of fine qualities of cotton, there is an absolute necessity for a combination of a peculiar climate, where neither rain nor dew shall moisten, and accordingly deteriorate the crop. Egypt is specially favoured for the production of first-class cotton, as in the upper portions of the Delta rain is seldom known; but the extreme carelessness of the people has reduced the average quality by mixing the seeds, instead of keeping the various classes rigidly separate.

The dry climate, combined with the fertile soil of Cyprus, would suggest a great extension of cotton cultivation, when artificial irrigation shall be generally developed, but so long as the present system of collecting the dimes is continued, the farmer cannot produce the higher qualities which require immediate attention in collecting. During the delay in waiting for the official valuer, the pods are bursting rapidly, and the valuable quality is falling to the ground; the cultivator is therefore confined to the growth of those inferior cottons that will adhere to the pods, and wait patiently for the arrival of the government authority.

Consul Hamilton Lang, in his interesting work upon Cyprus, suggests that the duty should be collected upon export, to relieve the farmer from the present difficulty, which would enable him to cultivate the American high qualities. It is almost amusing to contrast the criticisms and advice of the various British consuls who have for many years represented us in Cyprus with the ideas of modern officials. There can be no doubt concerning consular reports in black and white, and equally there can be no question of existing ordinances under the British administration; but what appeared highly unjust to our consuls when Cyprus was under Turkish rule, is accepted as perfectly equitable now that the island has passed into the hands of Great Britain.

For many years I have taken a peculiar interest in cotton cultivation, and in 1870 I introduced the excellent Egyptian variety, known as "galleen," into Central Africa, and planted it at Gondokoro, north latitude 4 degrees 54', with excellent results. In the first year this grew to the height of about seven feet, with a proportionate thickness of stem, and the spreading branches produced an abundant crop of a fine quality, which detached itself from the seeds, immediately reducing the operation of the cleaning-machine or "cotton-gin" to a minimum of labour. I have been much struck with the inferiority of Cyprian cotton; scarcely any of the crop finds its way to England, but is exported to Marseilles and Trieste. Should Consul Lang's suggestion be carried out, and the duty be taken upon export to relieve the grower from the vexatious delays of the inquisitor or government valuer, there can be no question of immediate improvement. There is no more trouble or expense in producing a first-class cotton than in the commonest variety, when climate and soil are so peculiarly favourable as in Cyprus. If the government continues the system of ad valorem taxation, common sense will suggest that the highest quality would alike be favourable to the revenue and to the cultivator; therefore, in the interests of the country and of individuals, every encouragement should be afforded to the farmers to ensure the best of all species of produce throughout the island. The excellent compilation of Captain Savile, officially and expressly printed for the service of the government, contains the following passages:—

"According to all accounts the taxation of the inhabitants of Cyprus has under Turkish administration been carried out in a most severe and oppressive manner, and the imposts upon certain articles of agriculture and commerce have been so heavy that their culture and export has in some cases been almost abandoned. . . .

"The cultivation of vines for the manufacture of wine has been so heavily and unjustly taxed, that a great part of the vineyards have of late years been turned to other and more profitable purposes, or else have been abandoned, and consequently a branch of agriculture for which the island is especially suited and a remunerative article of commerce is neglected and allowed to decline. An extensive development of vineyards and manufacture of wine should be encouraged, and with this object it has been suggested that it might be wise to free this production from all except export duty.

"Allusion has already been made to the injurious effect of the collection of the tithe (dimes) upon cotton at the time when the crop is gathered, instead of at the time of shipment, and it has been explained how the former method prevents the farmers from growing the best and most remunerative varieties of the plant; this is a matter that requires the attention of the authorities when the re-adjustment of the taxes is considered."

Captain Savile's useful book is an echo of consular statements and reports written in England for government information without any personal experience of the island; but from my own investigations I can thoroughly endorse the views expressed, and I only regret that the miserable conditions of our occupation have rendered such necessary reforms most difficult, as the poverty of the present government of Cyprus cannot afford to run the risk of experimental lessons in taxation.

When criticising and condemning existing evils, it must be distinctly understood that I do not presume to attach blame to individual authorities of the local government: I denounce the arbitrary and oppressive system of TURKISH rules, which, although in some instances mitigated by our administration, still remain in force, and are the results of the conditions that were accepted when England resolved upon this anomalous occupation. I have to describe Cyprus as I saw it in 1879, and in this work I endeavour to introduce the public to the true aspect of the situation "as I saw it;" other people have an equal right with myself to their own opinions upon various subjects, but, should we differ upon certain questions, we shall at least be unanimous in praise of the extreme devotion to a most difficult task in a contradictory position, exhibited not only by the governor, and commissioners of districts, but by all British officers entrusted with authority. If Cyprus were free from the fetters of the Turkish Convention, and the revenue should be available for the necessary improvements, with commercial and agricultural reforms, the same energy now bestowed by the governor and other officials would rapidly expand the resources of the island. We are prone to expect too much, and must remember that at the time I write, only twelve months have elapsed since the day of the British military occupation. No officers understood either the language, or laws, of the people they had to govern; they were for the most part specially educated for the military profession, and they were suddenly plunged into official positions where agricultural, legal, commercial, and engineering difficulties absorbed their entire attention, all of which had to be comprehended through the medium of an interpreter. It is rare that the most favoured individual combines such general knowledge; Turks and Greeks, antagonistic races, were to lie down contented like the lion and the lamb under the blessing of a British rule: all animosities were to be forgotten. The religion of Mussulmans would remain inviolate, and the Greek Church would hold its former independence: freedom and equality were to be assured when the English flag replaced the Crescent and Star upon the red ensign beneath which Cyprus had withered as before a flame; the resources of the country were to awaken as from a long sleep, and the world should witness the marvellous change between Cyprus when under Turks, and when transferred to Englishmen. "Look upon that picture, and on this!" The officers of our army were the magicians to effect this transformation, not only strangers to the climate, language, laws, customs, people, but without MONEY: as the island had been robbed of revenue by the conditions of the Turkish Convention.

In spite of the many abuses which still exist, and which demand reform, there could not be a more tangible proof of the general efficiency of the officers of our army than the picture of Cyprus after the first year's occupation. Although the government has been severely pinched for means, and a season of cruel drought has smitten the agriculturists; with commerce languishing through the uncertainty of our tenure, the Cyprian population of all creeds and classes have already learned to trust in the honour and unflinching integrity of British rulers, which ensures them justice and has relieved them from their former oppressors.

CHAPTER XVII.

THE DISTRICT OF LIMASOL AND LANDOWNERS.

The port of Limasol will eventually become the chief commercial centre of Cyprus, and in the depression of 1879 caused by drought and general uncertainty it formed a favourable exception to the general rule. It may be interesting to examine the position of the revenue during the years inclusive from 1875 to 1878.

CUSTOMS.

Year. Revenue. Expenditure. Balance. Piastres. Piastres. Piastres. 1875 964,839 164,663 800,176 1876 819,139 172,472 646,667 1877 1,340,643 169,506 1,171,137 1878 1,553,363 161,594 1,391,769

The exports from Limasol have been largely in excess of imports:—

Year Exports Year Imports

1875 77,022 1875 47,325 1876 59,895 1876 50,920 1877 93,805 1877 41,920 1878 101,457 1878 99,714

The principal articles of export from Limasol are wine and caroubs, and the general production of these items has been as follows:—

Year. Okes. Year. Tons.

1875 Wine 4,811,732 1875 Caroubs 8,690 1876 " 3,710,884 1876 " 6,080 1877 " 2,208,617 1877 " 6,520 1878 " 5,795,109 1878 " 4,345

The different descriptions of wine and spirits produced in the Limasol district during the last four years are as follows, values in okes:—

Year. Raki or —————————-Wine.————————— native brandy Commanderiea. Red Wine. Black Wine. 1875 467,711 173,946 85,008 4,056,067 1876 251,298 87,585 56,434 2,815,567 1877 181,269 45,522 38,563 1,943,290 1878 378,694 180,103 133,555 5,102,757

In the year 1878 the goods exported from Limasol may be approximately represented by—

Cotton for Austria . . . . 10,000 okes valued at 500 pounds sterling.
Wool for France c. . . . . 9,500 okes valued at 560 pounds.
Rags for Italy . . . . . . 77,600 okes valued at 700 pounds.
Sumach in leaf for
          Greece. . . . . 110,000 okes valued at 500 pounds.
Black wine for
          Turkey. . . . 1,850,000 okes valued at 25,000 pounds.
Commanderia for
          Austria . . . . 155,000 okes valued at 2,075 pounds.
Caroubs for
England, France,
Russia, and Italy . . . . 10,000 tons valued at 33,000 pounds.
Raisins for Austria,
France, and Turkey . . . . 90,000 okes valued at 850 pounds.
Skins for Greece . . . . . .9,800 okes valued at 1,025 pounds.
Sundries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . valued at 11,000 pounds.

Total value of exports. . . . . . . . . . . . . 75,210 pounds sterling.

The tobacco produced in the districts of Limasol and Baffo and at Lefka, inclusive, is a mere trifle compared to the capabilities of the island:—

In 1875 the crop amounted to 1,395 okes. 1876 " 1,280 " 1877 " 857 " 1878 " 1,731 "

This is only worth enumeration as an example of the utter insignificance of the production, which should be an important item in the agricultural wealth of the island. The greater portion of the tobacco consumed in Cyprus is imported in bales from Salonica, and is consigned to manufacturers who divide and classify the leaves, which are cut, and formed into packets bearing the Custom House stamps, supplied upon purchase. Limasol alone imports about 20,000 okes, which are forwarded from Larnaca, where the duty is paid. No export duties of any description are levied upon goods from this island.

The direct benefit to the Cypriotes conferred by the British occupation was exhibited in the sudden rise of value both in real property and in labour. The rental of houses within the principal towns was trebled, and it would be difficult to establish an average price of land either in towns, or upon the outskirts, as the prices demanded have been in most instances fictitious, representing the desires of the seller, but in no way verifying the actual selling value. I have only heard of a few small plots that have changed hands at quadruple their former estimate, and as a rule there are few buyers during this period of uncertainty respecting the permanence of our occupation; but owners hold out in the hope of an ultimate decision in favour of British absolute possession. In the town of Limasol there has been a decided rise in the general value of property, which is due to the steady improvement of the trade, and does not represent a mere speculative impulse as in Larnaca, which has suffered by a subsequent reaction. The municipal receipts of Limasol have increased from 207 pounds sterling in the twelve months ending 30th September, 1878, to 1718 pounds in the ten months of 1879. This has certainly been due to the energy of Colonel Warren, R. A., the chief commissioner of the district, to whom I am indebted for all statistics connected with the locality.

The position of a district chief commissioner was by no means enviable in Cyprus. The pay was absurdly small, and he was obliged to institute reforms both for sanitary and municipal interests which necessitated an outlay, and increased the local taxation. The population had been led to expect a general diminution of imposts upon the suddenly-conceived British occupation, and the Cypriotes somewhat resembled the frogs in the fable when the new King Log arrived with a tremendous splash which created waves of hope upon the surface of the pool, but subsided into disappointment; they found that improvements cost money, and that British reforms, although they bestowed indirect benefits, were accompanied by a direct expenditure. The calm apathy of a Cypriote is not easily disturbed; he is generally tolerably sober, or if drunk, he is seldom the "WORSE for liquor," but rather the better, as his usual affectionate disposition may be slightly exaggerated, instead of becoming pugnacious and abusive like the inebriated Briton. There are no people more affectionate in their immediate domestic circle, or more generally courteous and gentle, than the Cypriotes, but like a good many English people, they have an aversion to increased taxation. Thus, although the British commissioners of districts vied with each other in a healthy ambition to exhibit a picture of paradise in their special localities, the people grumbled at the cost of cleanliness and health within their towns, and would have preferred the old time of manure-heaps and bad smells gratis to the new regime of civilisation for which they had to pay.

The Greek element is generally combustible, and before the first year of our occupation had expired various causes of discontent awakened Philhellenic aspirations; a society was organised under the name of the "Cypriote Fraternity," as a political centre from which emissaries would be employed for the formation of clubs in various districts with the object of inspiring the population with the noble desire of adding Cyprus to the future Greek kingdom. Corfu had been restored to Greece; why should not Cyprus be added to her crown? There would be sympathisers in the British Parliament, some of whom had already taken up the cause of the Greek clergy in their disputes with the local authorities, and the Greeks of the island had discovered that no matter what the merits of their case might be, they could always depend upon some members of the House of Commons as their advocates, against the existing government and their own countrymen. Under these favourable conditions for political agitation the "Cypriote Fraternity" has commenced its existence. I do not attach much importance to this early conceived movement, as Greeks, although patriotic, have too much shrewdness to sacrifice an immediate profit for a prospective shadow. The island belongs at this moment to the Sultan, and the English are simply tenants under stipulated conditions. Before Cyprus could belong to Greece it must be severed from the Ottoman Empire, and should England be sufficiently wayward to again present herself to the world as the spoiled child of fortune, and deliver over her new acquisition according to the well-remembered precedent of Corfu, the monetary value of all property in Cyprus would descend to zero, and the "Cypriote Fraternity," if householders or landowners, would raise the Greek standard over shattered fortunes.

The total of population within the entire district of Limasol in 1879 represented 23,530, comprising 12,159 males and 11,371 females, of all ages.

The following list is the official enumeration of animals and trees within the same province:—

ANIMALS.

Cattle. Mules. Horses. Donkeys. Pigs. Goats. Sheep. 6,006 1,812 1,129 4,026 2,138 19,896 11,790

TREES.

Caroubs. Olives. Walnuts. 267,779 114,413 957

Natural pine and Cyprus forests, with oak, &c., not counted.

VINEYARDS.

Cultivated land. Uncultivated land. 40,642 donums. 114,650 donums. 21,180 donums.

According to this official statistical representation the cultivated land would be in proportion to the population about five donums, or two and a half acres, per individual.

The question of ownership of lands will eventually perplex the government to a greater extent than many persons would imagine, and the difficulty attending the verification of titles will increase with every year's delay.

Before the British occupation, land was of little value, and an extreme looseness existed in the description of boundaries and landmarks. In the absence of fences the Cypriote can generally encroach upon any land adjoining his limit, should it belong to the state. Every season he can drive his plough a few paces further into his neighbour's holding, unless prevented, until by degrees he succeeds in acquiring a considerable accession. The state is the sufferer to an enormous extent by many years of systematic invasion. Forest land has been felled and cleared by burning, and the original site is now occupied by vineyards. The bribery and corruption that pervaded all classes of officials prior to the British occupation enabled an individual to silence the local authority, while he in many instances more than doubled his legal holding. The absence of defined boundaries has facilitated these encroachments. According to an official report this difficulty is dwelt upon most forcibly as requiring immediate investigation. The vague definition in title-deeds, which simply mentions the number of donums, affords no means of proving an unjust extension; such terms are used as "the woods bounded by a hill," or "the woods bounded by uncultivated land," and this indefinite form of expression leaves a margin of frontier that is practically without limit, unless the invader may be stopped by arriving within a yard of his nearest neighbour. My informant, Colonel Warren, R. A., chief commissioner of Limasol, assured me that some holders of land in his district, whose titles show an amount of ninety donums, lay claim to ten times the area. There is hardly a proprietor who does not occupy a ridiculous surplus when compared with his title-deeds, and the encroachments are even now proceeding.

This system of land-robbery was connived at by the officials for a "CONSIDERATION;" old title-deeds were exchanged for new on the application of the holder, and the seals of the venal authorities rendered them valid, at the same time that hundreds of acres were fraudulently transferred from the state. When the intention of a British occupation was made public, a general rush was made for obtaining an excess over the amount defined in the title-deeds, by the swindling method; and the extent to which this plunder was extended may be imagined from the fact that 40,000 such documents were awaiting the necessary signatures when, by the arrival of the British officials, the Turkish authority, who could not sign the deeds with sufficient expedition, was dismissed, and the false titles were invalidated.

The monasteries and the vacouf (Turkish religious lands) lay claim to lands of vast and undefined extent, which are mystified by titles and gifts for charitable purposes, surrounded with clouds of obscure usages and ancient rules that will afford a boundless field for litigation. In fact, the existing government has arrived at the unpleasant position of being excluded from the land, nearly all of which is claimed either by individuals or religious institutions.

The arrangement of this most serious question will stir up a nest of hornets. The equitable adjustment would demand a minute survey of the various districts, and a comparison of the holdings with the title deeds; but what then? It is already known that the holdings are in excess, and where is the legal remedy that can be practically applied? If the actual letter of the law shall be enforced, and each proprietor shall be compelled to disgorge his prey, there will be endless complications. In England, twenty-one years' uninterrupted possession, with occupation, constitutes a valid title. In Cyprus the extended holdings have in many instances been inherited, and have remained unquestioned as the acknowledged property of individuals, while in other cases they have been more recently acquired. The question will comprise every possible difficulty, and can only be determined by a special commission officially appointed for a local investigation throughout each separate district.

This will be a labour of years, and the innumerable intricacies and entanglements will test the patience and HONESTY of interpreters in a country where bribery has always opened a golden road for an escape from difficulty, while our own authorities are entirely ignorant of the native language. It is this lack of natural means of communication viva voce which increases the already awkward position of high officials: the power of speech belongs to the dragoman alone, and a great gulf exists between the English and the Cypriote, who represent the deaf and dumb in the absence of an interpreter. The old song "We have no money," is the now stereotyped response to all suggestions for district schools, but if we are to retain Cyprus, one of the most urgent necessities is the instruction of the people in English. It is not to be expected that any close affinity can exist between the governing class and the governed, in the darkness of two foreign tongues that require a third person for their enlightenment. In many cases secrecy may be of considerable importance, and the conversation should be confined to the principals, but the third person must invariably be present as interpreter, and unless he is a man of the highest integrity he will not lose an opportunity of turning his knowledge of state secrets to account for his own advantage. Throughout the Levant it is difficult to find men who combine the rare qualities necessary for a confidential dragoman; such a person would be invaluable, as he would represent all the cardinal virtues, at the same time that he must possess a natural aptitude for his profession, and a store of patience, with the most unruffled temper. The natives dread the interpreter, they know full well that one word misunderstood may alter the bearing of their case, and they believe that a little gold judiciously applied may exert a peculiar grammatical influence upon the parts of speech of the dragoman, which directly affects their interests. There are, no doubt, men of honour and great capability who occupy this important position, at the same time it is well known that many interpreters have been found guilty; the exceptions proving the rule, and exhibiting the extreme danger and general disadvantage in the ignorance of the native language. It cannot be expected that the English officials are to receive a miraculous gift of fiery tongues, and to address their temporary subjects in Turkish and in Greek; but it is highly important that without delay schools should be established throughout the island for the instruction of the young, who in two or three years will obtain a knowledge of English. Whenever the people shall understand our language, they will assimilate with our customs and ideas, and they will feel themselves a portion of our empire: but until then a void will exclude them from social intercourse with their English rulers, and they will naturally gravitate towards Greece, through the simple medium of a mother-tongue. Limasol must perforce of its geographical advantages become the capital of Cyprus. As I have already described, the port may be much improved. The neighbouring country is healthy, and well covered with trees; the landscape is pleasing, and the new road opens a direct communication with the mountain sanatorium. The most important exports of the island are produced within the district, and, as might be expected, the result of commercial enterprise is exhibited in the increased intelligence and activity of the Limasol inhabitants. It is highly to be desired that this favourable position should become the seat of government. Although the troops in 1879 are camped among the barren rocks beneath the pine-forests upon Mount Troodos, at an elevation of about 5800 feet above the sea, there is no necessity for a station at so extreme and inconvenient an altitude in north latitude 35 degrees. The general unhealthiness of the troops upon the first occupation of the island during the summer and autumn of 1878, determined the military authorities to arrange the new camp at the greatest altitude practicable with a regard to the supply of water, but the experience gained in 1879 proves that a permanent camp, or barracks, may be equally healthy at a lower and more convenient level. This fact would establish an additional advantage in the selection of Limasol for headquarters, as the troops would be in the immediate neighbourhood at all seasons. Colonel Warren, R.A., who had been the prime mover in all the improvements that had been made in Limasol since the British occupation, was promoted on 1st August to the position of chief of the staff under Sir Garnet Wolseley's able successor, Major-General Biddulph, C.B., R.A., and the district thus lost its leading spirit. In reforming abuses and promoting progress, Colonel Warren had not entirely escaped the usual fate of men who are in advance of their age. The unflinching determination to administer the laws without fear or favour to all classes had infringed upon the assumed immunities of the Greek Church, which had always received deferential consideration from the Turkish government, and although actually liable to taxation, the right had never been enforced. This is a curious contradiction to the vulgar belief in Mussulman intolerance and bigotry; the Greek Church not only enjoyed a perfect freedom under the Turks, but the bishops were assisted in obtaining a forced tribute from their flock by the presence of Turkish zaphtiehs (police), who accompanied them during their journeys through the diocese.

An interference with Church property or established rights is certain to create a buzzing of the ecclesiastical bees, who will swarm against the invader with every sting prepared for action. As the case was investigated by a special court of inquiry, and terminated, as might have been expected, completely in favour of Colonel Warren, it is not necessary to enter upon minute details; but, as the plaintiff was the Bishop of Citium, and this first public attack created a peculiar agitation that will probably be repeated, it may be interesting to examine the actual position of the Greek Church as it existed during the Turkish administration.

The Church in Cyprus is represented by an Archbishop and three Bishops as the acknowledged heads. The diocese of the former comprises Lefkosia, Famagousta, and the Carpas districts, while the three Bishoprics are those of Larnaca or Citium, Kyrenia, and Baffo.

The revenues of the Archbishop amount to about £2000 a year, and the necessary expenditure for staff, schools, &c., to £1500. The Bishopric of Baffo is the richest, with a revenue of about £1000; at the same time the outgoings are small, amounting to £300 a year for the payment of his staff, and one-fifth of the expenses of a public school.

The Bishopric of Larnaca or Citium is valued at about £900 a year, but the expenditure is confined to £200. That of Kyrenia is about the same as Citium. There is no possibility of determining an exact figure, as these revenues are dependent upon voluntary payments, which cannot be enforced by any statute; but there is a "Berat" (decree) which invites the local authorities to render the bishops assistance in the collection of their revenues, without the absolute enforcement of any payments. No amounts due to the bishops for either canonical, ecclesiastical, or alms (Zitia), can be recovered through a court of law. On the other hand, the all-powerful countenance afforded by the Turkish government represented by public functionaries (zaphtiehs), who accompanied the bishops during their diocesan visits upon a tour of collection, was a moral influence that succeeded in extorting the unwilling fees. In case of a defaulting village, it is said that a bishop has been known to suspend the functions of the priest until the necessary payments should be completed by his parishioners, who, thus temporarily cut off from all ghostly comfort, hastened to arrive at a pecuniary compromise.

The monasteries are an important institution throughout Cyprus, and there is a decided difference between the monks of these establishments and the general priesthood. The monks are supposed to devote their lives to charitable objects; they are not allowed to marry, and they have a superior education, as all can read and write. On the other hand, the priests are grossly ignorant, and it is computed that only a quarter of their number could even write their own names. These are allowed to marry one wife, but they cannot re-marry in the event of her decease; they are generally poor to a superlative degree, and are frequently obliged to work for hire like common labourers. Should a man desire to become a priest, it is only necessary that he should be recommended by the inhabitants of his village as a person of good reputation that would be suitable for the office: he is then ordained by the bishop upon payment of a fee of about one hundred piastres (or 150), and he is at once at liberty to enter upon his duties. These ordination fees are a temptation to the bishops to increase the number of priests to an unlimited extent, and the result is seen throughout Cyprus in a large and superfluous body of the most ignorant people, totally unfitted for their position.

The monasteries vary in their revenues, as they have derived their possessions at different periods from grants of land, or private gifts, or legacies. In like manner with the bishops, although they cannot legally compel the villagers to pay according to their demands, they assumed a power which by long sufferance had become recognised by the ignorant peasantry, who reluctantly acceded to their claims. I have myself witnessed an altercation between the monks and shepherds on the mountains upon a question of cheeses and goats, which the former claimed as annually due to the monastery; it appeared that prior to the British occupation they had been able by threats to extort this demand, but the shepherds had now determined to free themselves from all payments beyond those which the law compelled, and they resisted the priestly authority, before which they had hitherto remained as slaves. This spirit of independence that has been so quickly developed by the equity of British rule will probably extend, and may seriously interfere with the revenues of the Church, should the population determine to abide by their legal status and refuse the ordinary fees. It cannot be expected that either bishops, monks, or priests regard this change with satisfaction, and in their hearts they may sigh for the good old times of a Turkish administration, when the Greek Church of Cyprus was an imperium in imperio that could sway both the minds and purses of the multitude, untouched by laws or equity, and morally supported by the government.

The most important monastery in the island is that of Kykou; this is situated upon the mountains at an elevation of 3800 feet above the sea, and it comprises an establishment of sixty monks, with a gross revenue from various properties in different portions of the country estimated together with donations at about £5000 per annum. The monastery of Mahera estimates its revenue at £2000; that of Fameromeni at Nicosia, at £2000 without any expenditure, as the three monks, together with one servant, are paid by the extra incomes of the Church. There are many monasteries throughout the island, and all with the exception of Kykou and St. Andrea, at the eastern point of Cyprus, pay a certain portion of their revenue to the bishop of the diocese. The two monasteries I have excepted are perfectly independent of all ecclesiastical control in revenue and finance. Considerable caution will be necessary in arranging the land question with these numerous establishments, which have hitherto enjoyed a peculiar independence. Up to the present time the income of the bishops has been derived from the annual payments from monasteries, by the canonical tax paid by every church; from the alms (Zitia), which is a tax levied upon all crops; from the dish exposed for offerings in church while they officiate, and from various ordination fees and marriage licences. From the inquiries I made in various dependable quarters, the bishops are not generally beloved either by the monks, priests, or public; but this absence of appreciation may be due to the continual demands upon the funds of monasteries and the pockets of the peasantry, more than to any personal peculiarities of character. There are stories of neglect of duty and misappropriation of funds intended for charitable purposes, which I should decline to believe possible among ecclesiastics of such devout principles and high position. The Archbishop is much beloved, and is loudly praised by all classes of the inhabitants, to whom he owes his election as supreme head of the Church after the following manner:-

In the event of death, the vacant see of Cyprus is represented by the Bishop of Baffo, and the new archbishop must be elected by the people. The bishop occupies the position of president of an ecclesiastical council, to which representatives are sent from every district, charged with the votes of the inhabitants in favour of the archbishop. Upon his election, the approval and confirmation of his appointment must be obtained by an imperial decree before the archbishop can officiate. In the same manner every bishop is elected by the people of the district, and their representatives are sent to Nicosia, where the archbishop presides over his council, or court; but the new bishop must also be confirmed in his position by an imperial decree.

Should an archbishop be guilty of any crime, either civil or ecclesiastical, he may be deposed by the head of the Church at Constantinople, acting in conjunction with the Turkish government, at the request of the inhabitants of Cyprus.

Bishops may be deposed by the archbishop, who would in such a case assemble the Synod, composed of the heads of clergy in his presidency. Before this tribunal a bishop would be summoned to appear in case of an accusation, and the trial would take place in open court; the power of punishment or absolution remaining in the hands of the archbishop.

The Turkish government appears to have held a peculiar position in relation to the Greek Church in Cyprus, as, although acting in conjunction and in harmony with the customs of the inhabitants, it reserved the right of supreme authority in special cases; thus at various epochs the Turkish government deposed the Archbishops Chrissanthon and Panareton, hanged the Archbishop Kipriano, and banished the Archbishops Joachim and Damaskino.

From the universal complaints, there can be little doubt that the schools that should be established from funds specially invested for that purpose in the hands of certain monasteries, bishops, &c., are grossly neglected, and it has already been suggested that a commission should be instituted by the British authorities, under the presidency of the archbishop, for a rigid investigation of the resources of all monasteries and the ACTUAL revenue of bishoprics, together with the disbursement of all sums that should have been expended either for education or for charitable purposes.

The tithes exacted by the bishops from the peasantry add seriously to the imposts of ordinary taxation, and there is every probability of a reform being demanded by the inhabitants at the hands of the British administration. When under Turkish rule, the Greek Church enjoyed not only perfect freedom, but an immunity from taxation, as, although they were legally liable, the law was never enforced upon the clergy. The English government has determined upon the observance of all laws by all classes, and the Church has awakened to the fact that there is no exception.

"From the earliest times the Greek Church of Cyprus has enjoyed an especial degree of independence; in the reign of the Emperor Zeno, A.D. 473, exceptional privileges were conceded to the Archbishop of Cyprus, who, although he owns the supremacy of the Patriarch of Constantinople over the orthodox Greek Church, claims to be entirely independent of him as regards Church discipline; he wears purple, carries a gold-headed sceptre, has the title of Beatitude, signs in red as the Greek Emperors were wont to do, and uses a seal bearing a two-headed imperial eagle. It is said that these dignities were conferred in consequence of the fortunate discovery at Salamis of the body of St. Barnabas, with a copy of the Gospel of St. Matthew, which precious relic was sent to Constantinople, and in return the Emperor confirmed the Church of Cyprus in its absolute independence, and gave the archbishop the above privileges."* (*Savile's Cyprus, p. 142.)

St. Paul and St. Barnabas visited the island A.D. 45, and the conversion of Sergius Paulus, the proconsul at Paphos, by their preaching, was the first seed of Christianity implanted in Cyprus at the period when the inhabitants were steeped in heathenism; but some of the superstitions at present existing are hardly less degrading than pagan rites, and in the kissing of the Virgin's cave at Trooditissa for the purpose already described, we can trace an affinity with the ancient worship of Venus.

CHAPTER XVIII.

ON POLICE, FOOD, CLIMATE, &C.

The population of Cyprus is about 200,000, of which number more than three-fourths belong to the Greek Church; nevertheless the minority of Turks completely dominated prior to the British occupation. Although the Cypriote is, as I have described, courteous, gentle, and affectionate in his domestic circle, he is at the same time cunning and addicted to petty larceny, and in all your dealings with these apparently easy-going people you must exercise the same acuteness that is so absolutely necessary in England. There are few great crimes in proportion to the population, nor do we ever hear of such atrocities as those classes of murders which so frequently blacken the page of our modern history. Homicide is more common than actual murder, and is often the result of a sudden quarrel where knives are drawn, and a fatal stab in passion constitutes the offence. Sheep-stealing is the prevalent crime, and is carried on with an amount of hardihood that can only be accounted for from the difficulty of proof. The flocks of goats, &c., roam over the wild and uninhabited area of the high mountains and frequently stray from the shepherd and are lost for two or three nights; by the time they are recovered a certain number may be missing, and it is hardly possible to discover the thief, as the animals have been driven to a great distance. Tracking would be out of the question over the rocky surface, where every small plot of naked soil is trodden into countless footmarks by the innumerable goats which browse upon the mountain slopes. At night the flocks are generally herded within a circle protected by a fence of thorny bushes; sometimes these folds are invaded by thieves during the darkness, and a considerable number are driven off. As the locality would be generally distant from the principal town, and the shepherd cannot forsake his flock for several days to prosecute, the thieves frequently escape, and this immunity encourages them to further depredations. During my residence within the precincts of the monastery, the fold upon the hill within a quarter of a mile of the establishment was thus robbed, and the thieves were never discovered.

The police or zaphtiehs are generally too far from these wild localities to be of any service, and they are at present too few for the proper supervision of the island. A plan is I believe in contemplation to extend this body upon a scale that will render the force efficient as a gendarmerie, which would to a considerable degree relieve the necessity for a permanent European military force. There can be no better soldier than the Turk under British officers. The Christians in Cyprus have an objection to this service, and there is no reason why a military force to combine the duties of police should not be organised, that would be thoroughly acclimatised, and would at the same time be maintained for less than half the expense of English troops. There is nothing to fear from the Turkish population in Cyprus, and they would willingly enlist in our service, and could always be depended upon in case of necessity. The force already organised is an admirable nucleus, and could be rapidly increased; each man finds his own horse and receives two shillings a day inclusive; his clothes and arms being provided by the government. For service in the trying climate of Cyprus the Turk is pre-eminent. I do not see any need for the presence of British troops in this island. The fortresses are all dismantled, the natives are peaceful, and the extremely low price of wine and spirits is terribly adverse to the sanitary condition of the English soldier. The staunch sobriety of the Turk, his extreme hardihood, which enables him to endure great fatigue upon the most simple fare, and his amenity to discipline, together with an instinctive knowledge of arms and a natural capacity for a military profession, render him a valuable material for our requirements in organising a defensive force in Cyprus. Should it be determined that a certain number of British troops shall be retained, they can be spared unnecessary exposure, and retire to the mountain sanatorium during the summer months.

The wages of both artisans and ordinary labourers have risen considerably since the British occupation, as might have been expected. Skilled masons and carpenters can now command from 3 shillings 6 pence to 5 shillings per diem, who formerly could earn a maximum of 3 shillings. Ordinary masons for building walls can even now be obtained for 2 shillings 6 pence and 3 shillings, and agricultural labourers receive 1 shilling. It is probable that should extensive government improvements be undertaken, or large contracts be made by private individuals for public works, the rate will rise from one shilling to eighteen pence, as the demand for labour shall increase. Should schools be established and education become general throughout the island, the result will probably be exhibited by a corresponding advance in wages, as individuals will estimate their value at a higher rate. At present there is no organised system of education for the peasantry, and the few schools are confined to Nicosia, Larnaca, Limasol, Baffo, and Morphu, all of which are supported by original grants, voluntary contributions, the payments of pupils, and by certain sums annually provided by the bishops and monasteries.

The rate of wages should in all countries bear a just proportion to the price of food, and should the habits of the Cypriotes remain unchanged, and their diet retain its simple character, there is no reason to anticipate a rate that would eventually exceed 10 shillings or 11 shillings a week. If we determine upon low wages, we must keep down the price of food. The Turkish administration had peculiar municipal laws upon this subject which are still in force in some localities, but have been abrogated in Limasol. I have already mentioned that the price of meat was fixed at a certain sum per oke, so that good and bad sold at the same figure, and resulted in the inferior qualities being sent to market, while the best never appeared. Fish, fruits, and vegetables were rated in the same manner, and the municipal authorities ruled, and fixed a standard price for everything; good and bad all shared alike. By this extraordinary legislation, which to the English mind is inconceivable, the finest cauliflowers and the most common varieties would sell exactly at the same price; no matter what the quality of vegetables might be, all were reduced to the same level. Fish was simply fish. The best varieties and the most inferior were included in the same despotic law. Salmon and stickleback, turbot and sprat, herrings and soles, would (had they existed) have been sold at so much a pound independent of their qualities. The result was that if your servant went to market to buy a fine species of fish, the seller insisted upon his taking a due proportion of inferior trash that was hardly eatable. "All was fish that came to the net;" little and big, good and bad, fetched the same price.

Such a system would ensure the worst of everything; what gardener would devote his energies to producing fine varieties, if a common field cabbage would rival his choicest specimens at the same price, but at a minimum of labour?

It was evident that the lowest class of vegetables would represent the garden produce, as this absurd rule was a premium for indolence, whereas free competition, that would have assured high prices to the best qualities, would have stimulated the cultivators in their productions. This argument was so indisputable that the chief commissioner (Colonel Warren, R.A.) determined at all hazards to introduce free markets into Limasol; and although opposed to the conservative ideas of his municipal council, he carried out his views of a healthy competition and free and unrestricted trade, which would awaken the Cypriotes to the fact that labour properly directed would ensure the best qualities, that would benefit the producer by securing the best prices.

Self-evident facts in an English community may be utterly misconstrued in Cyprus. The Cypriote has never been accustomed to unrestricted freedom, but like his own ox in the plough, he requires a certain amount of control, and his energies must be directed by a driver or ruler. When the vegetables were assured of a certain fixed price per oke regulated by the authorities, he knew that he would obtain that amount for his produce whether good or bad; accordingly he brought his goods to market. But, when he found that his inferior vegetables would remain unsold, or would realise a mere trifle should a competitor's stall present a superior show, he withdrew altogether from the market, which at length became deserted; and the few who maintained their positions advanced their prices to such an exorbitant degree that vegetables became a luxury in which none could indulge but the rich. The fishermen profited by the reform and only caught sufficient for the minimum demand, but at the same time that they reduced their own labour and consequently the supply of fish, they also took advantage of the new law of free trade, and advanced their prices in extortionate proportion. Instead of the self-evident prosperity that would benefit all classes, the sudden liberty to which the Cypriote was unaccustomed acted diametrically against all English expectations, and for the time ruined the market. This was told me by Colonel Warren himself, and the failure of the apparently wholesome reform is suggestive of the danger that may result in the too sudden enfranchisement of those races which from a long series of oppression are unfit for perfect liberty.

At the same time there can be no doubt that the vexatious and arbitrary systems of taxation pursued in collecting the "dimes" has prevented the extension of market gardens, and were this tax remitted, I cannot imagine any more lucrative occupation than the growth of vegetables of the best quality for the FREE markets of the principal towns.

Some encouragement is necessary in promoting exhibitions, or horticultural shows, accompanied by substantial prizes, in various localities; and I should not be dismayed by the failure of the first well-meant attempt at reform in Limasol.

When I was at Limasol in May the price of cauliflowers was 2 pence the oke (2.75 lbs). Fish was dear at 2 shillings the oke; mutton 8 pence the oke. Beef is seldom eaten by the Cypriotes; potatoes are good, and are usually 1 penny the lb. Flour, best, 8 pence the oke. If a sheep should be purchased alive, and be killed for home consumption, the mutton should not exceed 3 pence per lb. for the best quality, leaving the skin, head, &c., as profit.

There are two varieties of sheep; the fat-tailed species supplies the best mutton, but the wool of both is coarse, and is exported to Trieste and Marseilles to the amount of about 400,000 lbs. annually. A large trade in lamb skins is a necessary result of the slaughter of a considerable proportion of lambs every winter and spring, owing to the usual scarcity of pasturage, which limits the increase of the flocks. The entire yield of skins is absorbed by Trieste and Marseilles.

A sheep in good condition of the fat-tailed species weighs when dressed, without the head, 16 okes, or 44 lbs. Fowls in the country can generally be purchased for 1 shilling each, but they are double that price in the market-towns. Turkeys fetch about 4 or 5 shillings each; pigeons 6 pence; fish is about 2 shillings the oke, or 8 pence the lb.; milk about 4 pence a quart; eggs from 24 to 30 for one shilling.

The grapes are the best fruit in Cyprus; these are really good, and in some instances would compare favourably with the hot-house produce of England. The best varieties can be purchased at the vineyards for less than 1 penny the lb. The above prices prove that the expense of necessaries is moderate, and the actual cost of existence low, but the want of good servants is a serious disadvantage.

At some future time Cyprus will become the resort of delicate persons to escape the winter and spring of England, as the climate of the southern portion of the island is most enjoyable during the cool season. In the neighbourhood of Limasol there are many excellent sites for building, in picturesque spots within two or three miles of the town. At present there is no adequate comfort for invalids, and the hotels are hardly adapted for persons who are accustomed to luxury. The commencement is attended with risk, and it would be dangerous under the existing conditions of the island to build and furnish an hotel with grounds and gardens sufficiently attractive for English visitors. There is no direct communication from England, which effectually debars Cyprus from an influx of travellers. It is necessary to land at Alexandria either from Marseilles or Brindisi, and thence to re-ship in small and uncomfortable steamers, which are by no means suitable for ladies or invalids. The extra expense, and above all the trouble and delay of landing in Egypt and again embarking, together with the cost of hotel charges at Alexandria, are quite sufficient to deter strangers from visiting Cyprus. The first necessary step will be the establishment of direct communication from Marseilles and Brindisi, or from Trieste. In that case, a commencement might be made by a small company of friends who determine to visit Cyprus annually, and to arrange an hotel upon some favourable site near Limasol, which they will themselves occupy, and which can be extended according to future requirements. English people are somewhat like sheep in following each other, and a quiet beginning in this simple but convenient form would quickly develop, and Cyprus would be linked with the beaten paths of tourists. The neighbourhood of Kyrenia is the most beautiful, but during winter it is exposed to severe north winds from the snowy mountains.

So much has been written and spoken against the climate of Cyprus that an unprejudiced account may be acceptable. There are serious disadvantages to those who by their official position are obliged to remain in the low country during the summer months, where the extreme heat must always be prejudicial to the health of Europeans. From the middle of October to May the climate is most agreeable, but the five intervening months should be passed at higher altitudes, which, as I have already described, afford a variety of climates.

Neither Lady Baker nor myself or servants had any climatic ailment throughout our journeys in every portion of the island. A horsekeeper had fever while at Famagousta, but he was a native who had suffered previously, and the fit was a return of chronic ague; my own people never required a dose of medicine although we were living in tents through winter and summer.

The water is generally wholesome, therefore dysentery and bowel complaints are rare; CONSUMPTION IS UNKNOWN; and pulmonary affections are uncommon. Fevers, including those of a typhoid character, and ague from malaria, are the usual types; outbreaks of small-pox have been reduced by general vaccination. The improvement in sanitary regulations will no doubt diminish the occurrence of typhoid fevers, which even now are rare considering the filth of the villages and the generally dirty habits of the population.

Hydrophobia among dogs is very rare, and distemper among puppies is unknown. Pigs are the general scavengers in the Cypriote villages, and the flesh of these filthy feeders is much esteemed by the Christian inhabitants during the winter months. In the monasteries, which, from their great altitude among the mountains, are occasionally snowed up and excluded from communication, a winter supply of stores is laid up during the autumn. The pigs and the fattest goats are killed, and salted in a most peculiar manner. Without removing a bone, the animal is split from the neck along the abdomen throughout, and it is laid completely open like a smoked haddock. Every joint is most carefully dislocated, even to the shoulder-blade bones, and remains in its place. The flesh is neatly detached from every bone, and in this form the carcase is salted, and stretched out in the sun to dry. When prepared it resembles a shield, as it remains perfectly flat, the back presenting a smooth surface, while the inside represents a beautiful specimen of comparative anatomy, every joint dislocated, but secured by the original integument to the socket, and every bone cleanly detached, but undisturbed from its original position. The dried body looks like a surgical preparation carefully arranged for an explanatory lecture.

The common and low quality of food of the lower classes, and especially of the agricultural population, must induce a want of stamina which is unable to resist the fever in malarious districts, and this results in chronic disease of the spleen. I have already described the general protuberance of the abdomen among the children throughout the Messaria and the Carpas districts, all of whom are more or less affected by splenetic diseases. On the mountains a marked difference is observed, as throughout the numerous villages at high altitudes the children are as healthy as those of England, although poorly clad in the home-made cotton-stuffs of the country.

I have already remarked the absence of flannel or other woollen material worn next the skin; the natives prefer their own manufactures to those of Europe, and as they grow the cotton, which is spun and woven into cloth by their own women, there is no actual outlay of coin. Some of the native material is very superior in strength to the machine-made stuffs of Manchester, especially a blue stout cotton with a thin red line that is in general request both for men and women. The only woollen stuff that is manufactured in Cyprus is confined to Nicosia, where the dark brown and immensely thick capotes are made for the winter wear of the common people. A cart-driver during the halt in a winter night simply draws the hood over his head and face, and, wrapped in his long and impervious capote, he lays himself beneath his cart and goes to sleep. Coarse woollen saddle-cloths and bags are also made at Nicosia. The same locality is celebrated for manufactures of silk and gold embroidery, all of which is performed by the hands of women, while the printing of calicoes and the production of morocco leather are local industries confined to the labour of men.

No country is better adapted for silk culture than Cyprus, where the mulberry-tree grows in great luxuriance to the altitude of 5000 feet, and the warmth and dryness of the climate is highly favourable to the silkworm. There is no tax upon the mulberry, and should artificial irrigation be encouraged by the government, this tree should be generally planted throughout the Messaria and all other districts, and a special impulse should be directed to silk development. Formerly the production of silk was an important export to France, but of late years it has decreased to a mere bagatelle. In the spot where I am now writing there are numerous mulberries in a profusion of rich foliage sufficient for the production of two pounds of silk by each tree; but they are entirely neglected, and the same depression in the silk cultivation may be remarked throughout the island.

The numerous wild-flowers, together with the blossoms of oranges and lemons, are highly favourable to bees, of which there are several varieties; but there is no export of wax, which is used within the island for the manufacture of candles and tapers for the various churches. The Cyprian bee-hive is a contrivance which is extremely simple, at the same time that it possesses the great advantage of sparing the bees when the comb is to be saved. I see no reason why this primitive arrangement should not succeed in England, and thereby save countless swarms from destruction.

The hive is an earthenware cylinder about three feet six inches or four feet in length, by ten or twelve inches in diameter; this might be represented by a common chimney-pot. One end is securely stopped by a wad of straw, neatly made in a similar manner to the back of an archery target. This is smeared on the outside with clay so as to exclude the air. A similar wad is inserted at the other extremity, but this is provided with a small aperture or entrance for the bees. In a large apiary twenty or thirty of these rude pipes or cylinders are piled one upon the other in the same manner that draining tiles are heaped in England, and they are protected from the sun and rain by a shed, open only to the front. The bees learn to recognise their several hives without confusion, although the cylinders are exactly alike and closely packed together.

When the comb is fully developed and the honey should be secured, it is only necessary to open a hole in the back, by removing the wad, and to blow smoke through the aperture; the bees escape uninjured from their ordinary entrance. The operator, whose head and face are protected with the necessary veil, and his hands with gloves, now cuts out the honey required, leaving a certain quantity as food for the bees, who will return to their hive when re-adjusted.

When a swarm is captured, the bees are placed in an earthenware cylinder which has been rubbed in the inside with a mixture of honey and wine. The shed is a very important portion of the apiary, as it adds materially to the comfort of the bees by protecting them from the extremes of weather.

Although the cold of the winter seldom attains freezing-point, it is sufficiently uncomfortable when accompanied by rain, and all creatures that are expected to thrive require protection. The climate varies in different localities, but the following meteorological data, that were carefully registered by myself, accompanied by those kindly furnished me by Colonel White, 1st Royal Scots, when chief commissioner of Lefkosia, will afford a dependable basis for any medical opinion.

                                                     Thermometer
                                                    in degrees F.
Months. Inches Mean Mean Max. Min.
                                       Rainfall 8 AM 3 PM

February, in the plain of Messaria . . 0.80 46 57 68 37

March, in the Carpas district and ditto 1.71 49 60 68 45

April, in the Kyrenia district, the maximum at Morphu . . . . . . . . . . nil. 57 68 83 47

                                                    At 7 AM
May, in Limasol to 11th inst do. . . . ditto. 64 78 84 76

do. Trooditissa, 4,340 ft. to 31st from 12th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.30 56.5 62 73 42

June, Trooditissa . . . . . . . . . . 1.13 66 71.6 78 54

July, do. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.13 77.6 78 84 65

The fall of 1.13 inch of rain in June took place in one hour and a half, and none of the rain which fell at the mountain range extended to the low country. It will be seen that from 1st February to the end of May only 2.51 inches fell throughout the central and eastern divisions, and very little that was measured in the Carpas district reached the Messaria. There was a fall of about 1.70 inch in January at Larnaca which I had no opportunity of measuring, but inclusive of this quantity the total rainfall from 1st January to the end of summer would not have exceeded 4.21 inches in the lower country.

The month of July is shown to be the highest temperature at Trooditissa, but although the maximum of 84 and the mean at 3 P.M. of 78 degrees may appear high at the elevation of 4340 feet above the sea level, the extreme lightness and purity of the air so far modified the heat that it was never oppressive. The thermometer was suspended five feet from the ground against the trunk of the shady walnut-tree four feet from the tent wall, into which spot the sun never entered.

The water that issued from the rock by a stone spout beneath the arch showed a temperature of 55 degrees and never varied throughout the months of June, July, and August. When the thermometer was above 80 degrees this water fresh from the spout appeared icy cold in comparison.

Colonel White's observations at Lefkosia (Nicosia) for the month of July exhibit an extremely high range, the mean at 9 A.M. = 84.5 Fahr. degrees, and the mean at 9 P.M. = 83 degrees Fahr.; while the daily maximum attains the serious degree of a mean = 108.7 degrees Fahr., the highest point registered being 115 degrees Fahr. in the shade.

Such a temperature will destroy the health of Europeans, and the locality is not suitable for headquarters. The governor of the island might possibly escape to the mountain sanatorium, but the other officials will sicken in their various overheated offices.

The following is Colonel White's original register:-

METEOROLOGICAL REGISTER AT NICOSIA.

442 FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL.

Instruments:—Casella's maximum, minimum, and ordinary thermometers; Negretti and Zambra's large-size aneroid barometer ; 29 feet above ground, all under deep verandah, shaded from the sun, exposed to coolest wind, and 5 feet above the roof of the house. The readings taken carefully.

H. G. WHITE, Lieut.-Colonel Royal Scots, Commissioner, Nicosia. 4th August, 1879

CHAPTER XIX

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS.

In the foregoing chapters I have endeavoured to describe the present condition of Cyprus, exhibiting the actual resources of the island, together with the numerous disadvantages resulting from a peculiarity of climate, and the total neglect of all public works during the Ottoman rule of three centuries. It will be remarked that nothing of value exists beyond the agricultural productions, which are now precarious through the uncertainty of seasons; the metallic wealth has either been exhausted by the ancient miners, or it remains to be developed; the forests have been destroyed; the harbours have been clogged by silt; the communications are confined to pack animals in the general absence of roads and bridges. Yet, notwithstanding this neglected condition of the island, the revenue has yielded an average of about 200,000 pounds annually, or as nearly as possible one pound sterling per head of the entire population.

An increase of revenue can only result from a corresponding advance in material prosperity, which must depend upon an influx of capital that will develop the agricultural resources upon which Cyprus will mainly depend. There are some few collateral profits that may perhaps increase, such as the sponge fisheries, and a probable discovery of red coral by the employment of the helmet-diving apparatus. At present the condition of the sea-bottom is little known; the sponges, of an inferior-quality, are collected by dredging, and the boats pay a fixed sum for a licence according to the size and construction of the dredging apparatus, varying from 5 to 20 pounds per annum; this yields a small annual revenue of about 1600 pounds, which embraces the entire coast of Cyprus. By careful management the salt might exhibit an increase, but on the other hand, the wine, if relieved from the present extreme taxation, would for the first two or three years ensure a considerable reduction.

No increase of imports can be expected until the general advance of internal prosperity shall enable the population to extend their demand for foreign manufactures. We have seen that the peasantry are contented with the home-made cotton stuffs which they produce without an expenditure of money; and the habits of the agricultural classes are simple, and independent of external aid. It will require many years before the customs of the Cypriotes shall be changed by the intercourse with strangers, and the increase of their wealth, commencing from the zero of poverty, must be the base of future expectations. We generally remark in the advancing desires of communities that women exert a powerful influence in the development of manufactures. The wholesome, and to a certain extent civilising, attention to personal appearance, creates a demand for articles of dress and other little vanities which encourage trade, and by degrees the improvement in every household expands into a new birth of external relations with foreign countries, which induces an increase of imports. The women of Cyprus are completely subjugated to their husbands, and although exempt from the cruelty unfortunately so prevalent among a similar class in England, they are seldom indulged in the love of finery which in our own country is carried to an excess. The baggy trousers and the high hob-nailed boots of the Cyprian Venus will hardly excite the ambition of British manufacturers, and for many years the females will remain in their present position. There are already soap manufactories in the island, and the first groundwork for improvements in personal habits will be ensured by their extension, before the exterior fineries of more civilised communities shall be introduced. We may therefore omit the Cyprian female from the class that would benefit the island commercially, but she will perform her duty in a sensible and simple manner as a good housewife, and thereby assist in the prosperity of her husband the agriculturist. The more pains that we may bestow upon an examination of the resources of Cyprus, the more certain becomes the conclusion that the present and the future depend entirely upon agricultural development.

This fact is patent to all who can pretend to a knowledge of the island, and the question will naturally intrude, "Was Cyprus occupied for agricultural purposes?" Of course we know it was not: but on the other hand, if we acknowledge the truth, "that it was accepted as a strategical military point," it is highly desirable that the country should be self-supporting, instead of, like Malta and Gibraltar, mainly dependent upon external supplies.

If Cyprus belonged to England or any other Power, it would be a valuable acquisition. We have seen that under the Turkish administration it was a small mine of wealth, and remains in the same position to its recent masters.

We pay 96,000 pounds sterling per annum to the Turks, out of an assumed revenue of 170,000 pounds. Therefore, without any trouble or risk, the Turk is receiving 3.25 per cent. interest upon three millions. This establishes an unfortunate precedent in the valuation of the island should England eventually become a purchaser.

If Cyprus can, without undue taxation, afford a revenue of 170,000 pounds, it is palpable that a large margin would be available for those absolutely necessary public works—irrigation, the control of the Pedias river, road-making, harbour-works, bridges, extension of forests and guardians, and a host of minor improvements, such as district schools for the teaching of English, &c. &c. In fact, if we held Cyprus without purchase as a conquered country, such as Ceylon, Mauritius, or other of our colonies, it would occupy the extraordinary position of a colony that could advance and pay its way entirely by its own surplus revenue, without a public loan! This is a fact of great importance—that, in spite of the usual Turkish mal-administration, the island has no debt, but that England has acknowledged the success of the Turkish rule by paying 96,000 pounds per annum as the accepted surplus revenue of this misgoverned island!—which holds upon these data a better financial condition than any of our own colonies.

If the total gross revenue is 170,000 pounds a year, and we can afford to pay 96,000 pounds to the Porte, and at the same time allow the home government to boast in the House of Commons of "a surplus," Cyprus is one of the most lucrative positions, and the Turks can fairly claim a success instead of admitting the blame of mal-administration.

If the Turks by mismanagement can obtain a nett revenue of 96,000 pounds a year, how much should England obtain by good management?

The fact is that, as usual, the English government has been hoodwinked in their hasty bargain. The island can pay its way, and, if free from Turkey, would become most prosperous; but we have inherited an estate so heavily mortgaged by our foolish Convention, that the revenue is all absorbed in interest, which leaves nothing for the necessities of development. The commissioners of districts are over-worked and ill-paid, their allowance of interpreters is quite insufficient to secure the necessary check; and their position is incompatible with the importance of their official status. There is no money for any improvements, and the boasted surplus will just suffice for the payment of salaries and the absolutely necessary items of carrying on a government more in accordance with the position of Greece or Denmark than with the historical reputation of Great Britain.

This financial embarrassment has disappointed the expectations of the inhabitants, who naturally had anticipated brilliant advantages from the reform between Turkish and English administrations. My own opinion may be valueless, but it is shared by many; Cyprus should belong absolutely to England, or we should have nothing to do with it. I repeat the dictum expressed in the introduction; if England is the ally of Turkey and she can depend upon the integrity of that defensive alliance against Russia, there is no need for any station that incurs the obligations of Cyprus; all the Turkish ports would be open to our ships. The occupation of Cyprus would therefore suggest that a far-seeing government had doubted the integrity of Turkey, and had therefore determined to secure a pied-a-terre in a strategical position that would command the east of the Mediterranean. Upon this point opinions will again differ, and I quote the words of one of the most experienced statesmen and an ex-minister of the Upper House, who writes:—

"The objections to Cyprus as a military and naval station are shortly these. It will oblige us to establish a garrison, and therefore to increase and divide our forces in the Mediterranean. There must be barracks, hospitals, store-houses, &c. After all this expenditure Cyprus will weaken rather than strengthen our power.

"Famagousta may be made a good harbour; but how can it be defended? The ships will not be, as in Malta, defended by batteries projecting far beyond the anchorage; Famagousta will require ships of war to defend it, or batteries constructed on the breakwater—a most costly undertaking. As a coaling-station it is not wanted, because colliers accompanying the fleet are much more convenient. If, in short, we are supreme at sea, Cyprus is not wanted; if we are not supreme, Cyprus will be an incumbrance."

I acknowledge the force of a portion of the argument, and no one can more highly respect the distinguished authority I have quoted, who, as an ex-First Lord of the Admiralty of practical experience, must carry the great weight of his ability and position; but I would suggest that Famagousta is underrated. I have already described that powerful fortress, and in its present condition, if mounted with forty-ton guns upon the sea-face, I doubt the possibility of an attack from seaward. The natural reefs which form the sea-wall afford the greatest facilities for batteries a-fleur-d'eau, as their solid foundations require the simple levelling of cement, and a facing of steel plates would complete an impregnable line of casemates that would render the approach by sea impossible.

The advantages of attendant colliers is great as a continuous coal-supply to a fleet, especially during the blockade of an enemy's port; but for a cruising fleet, or for independent vessels, the speed of the colliers would be insufficient, and a line of coaling-stations, at intervals of five days' steaming is in my opinion highly important, in addition to the necessity of docks where ironclad vessels could obtain the necessary repairs after a naval engagement. It is a serious result of modern improvements that the cumbrous and complicated ironclads cannot be repaired in a few days after an action with the enemy by their own carpenters and crews, like the wooden vessels of old, but that docks must be within reach, and all the appliances of the engineers' yards and an arsenal. Without this advantage, Famagousta would be a useless acquisition, and Cyprus would be worthless as a strategical position.

In my opinion the entire question hangs upon the integrity of Turkey as an ally. England has done but little for her, and we may expect too much. The Turks are thoroughly aware that an Anglo-Turkish defensive alliance, and the "Protectorate of Asia Minor by Great Britain," are political arrangements based upon self-interest, for which they owe us no personal gratitude; in the hour of their distress we declined material assistance, but seized the opportunity for occupying one of their important positions—Cyprus; their only satisfaction remained in the knowledge that they had "done us" in the bargain. We have quickly discovered the painful fact, and one party to the alliance already feels aggrieved, and seeks for an alteration in the terms of the Convention.

I cannot conceive any more dangerous risk to friendships than an interference in the private affairs of individuals, or in the public administration of governments. We have assumed the enormous responsibility of the Protectorate of Asia Minor under conditions which we must know will never be fulfilled; Turkey promises to reform the abuses of her internal administration, &c. &c.! Anybody who knows Turkey must be aware that such a reform is impossible: the honest administrative material does not exist in the Ottoman Empire, and the promises of the Porte have been tolerably exemplified since the Crimean war. Under these circumstances the Anglo-Turkish alliance is in a questionable position. We have assumed the Protectorate of Asia Minor conditionally; we occupy Cyprus conditionally; and should Turkey fail to perform her promises in the government of her Asiatic provinces, we have a back-door for an escape from our onerous engagement. Unfortunately English diplomacy is celebrated for back-doors. In the Berlin Treaty we entered Cyprus through a back-door, and we may possibly retire by the same exit; but there is little doubt that the Turk does not believe in our professed determination to defend him by force of arms in the event of a future conflict between Russia and the Sultan in Asia Minor. Notwithstanding our professed sincerity, the Turk has become an unbeliever in the faith of treaties and political engagements; he believes most thoroughly that should "British interests" require the sacrifice of honour, England will somehow or other manage to slip through the Ottoman fingers, and escape from her alliance when called upon to meet Russia in the field. Of course the ignorant Turk is wrong, and his suspicions are unfounded.

With a mutual want of confidence in the integrity of an alliance, it would hardly be surprising should the Sultan attach more importance to the practical force of Russia than to the moral rectitude and high political principles of England. The power of Russia has been felt, and the position of European Turkey is that of a dislocated and dismembered Empire, which upon the next explosion will reduce the Sultan to the small extremity on the Bosphorus between Constantinople and the lines of Tchataldja. Turkey will cease to be a European Power, and upon the outbreak of the next Russian war she will be discovered as represented by Asia Minor, in which the claws of the Eagle are already fixed in the vital points—Batoum, Kars, and Ardahan. A Russian advance from those positions will, according to the terms of the alliance, compel Great Britain to exhibit herself as the champion of Turkish rights in armed defence of Asia Minor.

When we reflect upon the prodigious responsibility of such an alliance with a crippled Power that has been completely subdued, the victorious army of the Czar retired from the gates of the capital, the nation bankrupt beyond all hopes of liquidation, the various states in chronic discontent both in Europe and in Asia, and the claims of Greece threatening to explode the combustible materials, we may well appreciate the back-door that has so frequently afforded a retreat from an untenable position.

If it is necessary for England to form a defensive alliance with Turkey as a crippled Power, with Russia actually established in Asia Minor, why should we have waited until Turkey was mortally stricken, when by an earlier alliance we could have at least saved Asia Minor in its integrity? We have let the lion into the house with a boast that we will turn him out in the event of further roaring, instead of having prevented his entry in the first instance.

Under all the circumstances of the risk and responsibility assumed by England in a defensive alliance with Turkey under the title of a Protectorate of Asia Minor, the Cyprus Convention is highly unfavourable in its conditions. The island should have been simply conveyed from Turkey and transferred as a free gift to England, as a position necessary for her occupation under the probable contingencies of the Anglo-Turkish alliance, and it should have at once become a portion of the British Empire. Had this course been pursued a mutual confidence would have been established; on the other hand, all back-doors would have been sealed, as we should have been bound by all the laws of honour to defend Turkey to the last extremity in Asia Minor.

Russia, in Kars, occupies a position which affords an unbounded horizon for political intrigue. The various Turkish Pachas and other district authorities throughout Asia Minor have witnessed the irresistible advance of Russia, while England stood afar off, and only assisted Turkey with her good counsel. The same authorities now see Russia in possession, while England, who has not assisted during the bloody struggle, appears upon the scene as a political Paul Pry, and intrudes upon the mysteries that surround Pachas, Governors, and various functionaries, who, from the highest to the lowest official, mainly exist upon extortion.

It is hardly necessary to explain that British assistance in such a form will be most unwelcome, and will increase our reputation for intermeddling while in the hour of extremity we withhold the required aid. Any interference on our part with the administration of Asia Minor will cause an extreme jealousy and suspicion throughout all classes of Turkish officials, who will be rendered the more amenable to the guiles of Russian intrigues from Kars and Ardahan. A very slight knowledge of Turkish character would induce the natural conclusion. The English would be suspected of coveting Asia Minor, as they had already obtained Cyprus, and Russia would have gained her end in destroying all confidence that might possibly have existed, and thus endanger the defensive alliance.

There are serious risks that might enforce the advance of Russian troops beyond the defined frontier. Already there are reports of general discontent and threatened disturbances. In the event of a mutiny of Turkish troops on the Russian border, the Russians might be invited to assist by the Pacha in command. Sometimes such revolts are factitious, for political purposes. In all cases the position of Russia in Asia Minor is one of extreme danger to Turkey, and it is far from improbable that activity on her side, and passiveness upon ours, may terminate in a friendship between the Russians and the Turks to the detriment of British interests, and to the confusion of the assumed Protectorate. This document distinctly states:—If "Batoum, Ardahan, Kars, or any of them shall be retained by Russia, and if any further attempt shall be made at any future time by Russia to take possession of any further territories of his Imperial Majesty the Sultan in Asia as fixed by the definitive treaty of peace, England engages to join his Imperial Majesty the Sultan in defending them by force of arms."

In a despatch from Lord Salisbury to Sir A. H. Layard, dated 30th May, 1878, these ominous words are contained:—

"Even if it be certain that Batoum and Ardahan and Kars will not become the base from which emissaries of intrigue will issue forth, to be in due time followed by invading armies, the mere retention of them by Russia will exercise a powerful influence in disintegrating the Asiatic dominion of the Porte."

In the same lengthy despatch the conditions are described which Turkey must fulfil in reforming the abuses of the present administration, &c. &c., and there can be no doubt that the British government contemplated the necessity of supplanting a considerable number of the peculant Turkish officials by experienced English officers, whose supervision would ensure the necessary reforms. If such a course should have been accepted by the Porte there could be no question of the salutary effect, as the presence of British officials in actual authority throughout the provinces of Asia Minor would have proved to the various races our positive determination to uphold their rights, and to defend them from the oppression and extortion to which they had been subjected. Such a position would have given England the control that is absolutely necessary to effect the reforms in the administration of Asia Minor, without which the result will be anarchy and revolution within a few years, fostered by Russia precisely in accordance with the policy that has terminated in the disruption of Turkey in Europe.

In the same despatch of 30th May, 1878, Lord Salisbury continues:—

"Her Majesty's Government intimated to the Porte on the occasion of the Conference at Constantinople that they were not prepared to sanction misgovernment and oppression, and it will be requisite before they can enter into any agreement for the defence of the Asiatic territories of the Porte in certain eventualities, that they should be formally assured of the intention of the Porte to introduce the necessary reforms into the government of the Christian and other subjects of the Porte in those regions. IT IS NOT DESIRABLE TO REQUIRE MORE THAN AN ENGAGEMENT IN GENERAL TERMS, FOR THE SPECIFIC MEASURES TO BE TAKEN COULD ONLY BE DEFINED AFTER A MORE CAREFUL INQUIRY AND DELIBERATION THAN COULD BE SECURED AT THE PRESENT JUNCTURE."

The italics are my own, for the weak point of the Convention is exhibited by this sentence.

No "general terms" should ever be mentioned in a communication with Orientals, and no convention should have been concluded with the Porte, unless every detail had been previously considered and specially agreed upon between the contracting parties. When this Convention was made public, I concluded that the British government contemplated the official employment of a certain number of their own officers to carry out the spirit of the agreement, without which the Convention would be a farce; at the same time I was convinced that the suspicions of the Turkish government and the stubborn pride of the race would resist any such direct interference upon the part of England. Under these conditions Asia Minor would remain exactly where it was. A grand scheme which would have had immense political results, had the Turks accepted our interference in the honourable spirit of our intentions, has been frustrated by their want of confidence, and the Convention remains, containing an agreement of stupendous importance, by which England is committed to a military undertaking of the first magnitude, while Turkey risks nothing except her "PROMISES OF REFORM in the administration of her Asiatic provinces."

"British interests" in this transaction are represented by Cyprus, which we occupy as tenants—paying 96,000 pounds a year for the ruined house, and leaving ourselves no balance from the revenue for the necessary repairs.

There is no more difficult political associate than the Turk; his defensive weapon is delay, and in moments of the greatest emergency his peculiar apathy or patience never forsakes him. Proud and haughty to a superlative degree, in his heart he detests all extraneous counsel and interference, and would rather glide onward to destruction than grasp the hand stretched out to save him. Turkey has expected much from England, and has made a poor return for our sacrifice of blood and treasure during the Crimean war. She obtained an ephemeral financial reputation through the aid of France and England in becoming guarantees for a public loan; upon this false position she traded until the inevitable bankruptcy plunged her into ruin, and opened the gate for the entrance of her enemies, at the same time that dishonesty entailed the severance of friends. England has from mutual interests endeavoured to preserve her from absolute dissolution, and the Protectorate of Asia Minor was a step of political audacity in her favour that surprised the world. This extraordinary offer of material aid has been met by the same want of confidence that has marked the decline of the Turkish Empire; the only extra interference in Asia Minor has been the appointment of a few additional British consuls. These gentlemen will report long lists of abuses, and the general mal-administration of the Turkish officials; they will be hated accordingly, and being absolutely powerless for good, they will simply keep the Foreign Office informed of what was thoroughly well known before. Remonstrances upon our part will be made to the Porte, who will deny the accuracy of the consular reports, and ultimately a special commission will be sent out, which will prove their correctness; the Porte will again promise amendment, but will not sanction the appointment of British officials. In this old-fashioned course, so thoroughly understood by all who have any knowledge of Turkey, the affairs of Asia Minor will be conducted, until revolution shall bring Russia upon the scene at the most favourable opportunity; and England, who has been thwarted by the Power she has endeavoured to save, will, by the terms of the Convention, be compelled to appear in arms as the defender of the remnant of the Turkish Empire.

Common sense would suggest the absolute necessity of special and clearly defined conditions in concluding an alliance with Turkey which may at any moment demand our military interference. If we are bound to assist by force of arms in the defence of Asia Minor, it is equally necessary that Turkey should be bound to qualify herself for resistance to an attack from Russia. It should have been distinctly agreed that Turkey should raise a territorial army of an estimated strength for the protection of Asia Minor, and that a certain number of British officers should hold important commands, to ensure the regular payment of the troops and to maintain the necessary discipline. Had such conditions been defined, and the civil courts been placed under the supervision of British officials, the Protectorate of Asia Minor would have become a practical combination that would have been an effectual check to Russian encroachments; but as the affair now stands, the alliance is fraught with extreme danger to ourselves. I cannot conceive the possibility of a credulity that would induce experienced statesmen to believe in the assurances given either by Turkey or by Russia. The history of the past is sufficient to prove the utter fallacy of assertions, promises, and treaties; Turkey will persist in mal-administration; Russia, who is now marching upon Merv in spite of former assurances, as she advanced on Khiva under similar pretexts, will at the moment of her own selection assuredly break through her boundaries in Asia Minor. The position of England will be contemptible. We have thrown down the gauntlet to Russia by an ostentatious alliance with Turkey, but we hesitate to insist upon the overwhelming necessity of British official and military officers to organise the civil administration and an army of defence; thus, when the sudden emergency shall arise, Turkey will be totally unprepared; the various races that comprise her Asiatic dominions will already have been poisoned by intrigue, and the only defence that can be offered to a Russian advance will be afforded by Turkish neglect, which has left the country devoid of roads.

Under these inevitable circumstances, England will probably accuse Turkey of neglecting to fulfil the conditions of the defensive alliance, and the "back-door" will offer a convenient exit from the difficulty; in which case, Turkey will be compelled to make terms with Russia that will probably terminate in a Russo-Turkish alliance AGAINST England, who will be accused of having treacherously deserted her after breaking a solemn engagement—and obtaining Cyprus.

This may be a gloomy prospect, but it is not one shade darker than the reality of the position, unless the Porte will sanction the assistance of a British administration that would entirely change the political aspect. A reform of administration in Asia Minor to be effective, should be based upon the judicial system pursued by the English in the courts of Cyprus—where the Turkish laws remain undisturbed, but they are administered under the supervision of specially appointed officers. For the most part Turkish laws are based upon pure equity, and leave little to be desired beyond their faithful execution. The oppression and extortion prevalent throughout the Turkish dominions are directly contrary to the laws, and are the result of personal tyranny on the part of the authorities.

In the event of a rupture with our ally that would result in a Russo-Turkish combination, Cyprus would exhibit its importance as a strategical position that would entirely command the coasts of Syria and the approach to Egypt. As I have already stated, the value of the island is conditional upon the permanence of the Turkish alliance; should Turkey and England remain friends and allies, Cyprus is quite unnecessary as a British military station; but our possession will probably ENTAIL THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF TURKISH GOOD FAITH, as the restored arsenal and harbour of Famagousta would complete a position that would dominate the whole of the Turkish shores upon the Mediterranean, and in conjunction with Greece, which would assure the refuge of Corfu to our fleets, the naval power of Great Britain would be absolute to the east of Gibraltar.

CHAPTER XX.

CONCLUSION.
TROODITISSA MONASTERY, CYPRUS.

It is the 22nd August, and the manuscript of "Cyprus as I saw it in 1879" has already been forwarded to England. In another month we shall be en route for the Euphrates via Alexandretta, and through Bagdad to India by the Persian Gulf. I shall therefore be placed at the serious disadvantage of an exclusion from the proofs, which may require alterations and corrections; this will I trust excuse me should any repetitions be apparent that would otherwise have been detected before publication. There is little to add to the description I have given that would be of public interest, therefore the few additional details are consigned to a short Appendix.

The seclusion of the monastery has been an agreeable interval that has formed a moral harbour from the uncertain seas of busy life, and we shall leave the quiet spot and the good old monks with some regret. A great change has been effected since our arrival in early May. The heaps of filth have given place to extreme cleanliness; the monks wash their hands and faces; even the monastery yard is swept. No atom of impurity is allowed to deface the walk from the cold spring to the great walnut-tree. My little garden has flourished and produced largely; the melons were of excellent flavour; the tomatoes and other vegetables were good, including a species of esculent amaranthus which is a substitute for spinach. I employed a man and his son to open the path for 2.75 miles, from the monastery to the military route to Troodos, which much improved the communication, and somewhat relieved our solitude by increasing the visits of our friends. If any stranger should now arrive from England at Trooditissa he would appreciate the calm and cool asylum contrasting with the heat of the lower country; but should he arrive even one short month after our departure, I fear the picture will have changed. Throngs of mules will have defiled our clean courtyard, and will be stabled within our shady retreat beneath the walnut-tree, which will remain unswept. The filthy habits of the people, now restrained only by strong remonstrance, will be too apparent. The old monks, Neophitos and Woomonos, (who are dear old people when clean) will cease to wash, and the place and people will certainly relapse into the primeval state of dirt and holiness in which we first discovered it.

We leave in friendship with all, and during our sojourn at Trooditissa of more than three months, no quarrels, or even trifling disagreements, have occurred between the servants or the people. The temporary storm occasioned by the abrupt departure of Christina was quickly lulled by the arrival of the middle-aged-maid of all work of seventy-five, who has performed all her arduous duties with admirable patience. Our own servants have been most satisfactory since their first engagement upon our arrival in Cyprus in January last; Georgi the "prodigal son," has been of much service as interpreter, and is an honest and willing young man, but there is a peculiarity in his physical constitution exhibited in the mutual want of attachment between his person and his buttons. These small but necessary friends continually desert him; and his shoes appear to walk a few inches faster than his feet, leaving him in a chronic state of down-at-heel. Collars will not assimilate with his neck; whether they are tied with strings, or fastened with buttons, the result is the same, and Georgi's exterior when all or three parts of his buttons have deserted him, exhibits a looseness which I am glad to say by no means applies to his character. The cook Christo is an excellent fellow, always willing to please, and good in his profession; added to which, he assumes a demeanour of importance which is irresistible, and makes all paths smooth. My Abyssinian, Amarn, is always the same quiet, steady character, who performs his daily work with the calm regularity of the stream that turns a mill-wheel, and can always be depended on. It is a pleasure to me that our party does not dissolve upon leaving Cyprus, but the servants accompany us on the Asiatic shore.

In conclusion, I must acknowledge with due thanks the valuable assistance that I have received in statistical information afforded by the kindness of the High Commissioner, His Excellency General Biddulph, R. A, C. B., and the various chief commissioners of districts, including Lieutenant-Colonel White, First Royal Scots, of Lefkosia; Lieutenant-Colonel Warren, R. A., of Limasol (now promoted to Chief of the Staff); Claude Delaval Cobham, Esq., M. A., of Larnaca; Captain Inglis, of Famagousta; and Captain A. Wauchope, 42nd Highlanders, of Baffo.

In taking leave of Cyprus I must express my share in the general regret at the departure of Sir Garnet and Lady Wolseley, from whom we received much kindness. His successor, General Biddulph, R. A., is well known as a most able and painstaking officer, who is admirably suited for the responsible position he now occupies, but all will remember with due appreciation the vigorous administration of Sir Garnet Wolseley, who was selected for the command of Cyprus in the difficult period of the first British occupation.

THE END.

APPENDIX.
METEOROLOGICAL REGISTER THROUGHOUT JOURNEYS IN CYPRUS.
FROM 1ST FEBRUARY TO 21ST AUGUST, 1879.

It will be remarked that August at Trooditissa is considerably lower in temperature than July.

The following data, from 1st to 17th August, kindly supplied me by
Lieut.-Colonel White, Chief Commissioner of Lefkosia, will exhibit the
difference between that station, 442 feet above the sea level, and
Trooditissa Monastery, 4,340 feet.

The following official estimate of revenue and expenditure must be accepted as only approximate. As the taxes are at present collected by dimes, or tenths, the amount must depend upon the agricultural prosperity of the island, which is liable to considerable fluctuations, and during the present year of semi-famine will result in a serious diminution. There will probably be a sensible decrease in the Customs receipts, as the import of European goods has been checked by the collapse of many European traders who had arrived in Cyprus at the first announcement of the British occupation, and discovered that their goods were unsuited to the requirements of the extremely poor and frugal population. The greater portion of the English traders have already retired from the island; the Greek merchants who have been long established are satisfied with small profits, and their expenses are upon a proportionate scale, which renders British competition quite impossible. The Cypriotes decline to purchase from the English stores, as they are ignorant of the language, and the goods are ill-adapted to their wants. The first rush of commercial activity due to the political movement in 1878 has subsided, and the trade will be represented chiefly by the agricultural exports from the island until some more favourable conditions of our occupation may induce a new impulse, and capitalists may venture upon investments in Cyprus.

The mines of umber near Larnaca have been let, and it is by no means improbable that an extension may in a few years be apparent in enterprises of this description. Copper mines near Khrysokhus are being opened, but the preliminary operations can afford no clue to the value of the result. The umber is shipped exclusively to Holland for the manufacture of paint, and the produce of Cyprus is considered to be the finest quality. Although asbestos is reported to exist of a remarkably long fibre and soft texture, I have never met with it except in the coarse form which is common in many portions of the island, especially on the Troodos range, where the base of this stone is a shining greenish substance of a horny texture, which gradually terminates in bristles of asbestos. I have also seen it in thin veins of metamorphic rocks, glittering like silver, and when scratched with a knife, it resolves into a downy condition like scraped cotton. All these mineral resources require a special and minute investigation.

ESTIMATES OF REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE IN CYPRUS FOR 1878-79.

Memorandum on the Revenue and Charges of the Island of Cyprus for the
Five Years from 1873-4 to 1877-8, under Turkish Administration, with an
Estimate for the Year 1878-9, including the Charges of British
Administration of the Island.

In submitting the enclosed statement of the accounts of Cyprus for the past five years, with the estimate of revenue and expenditure for the current official year, 1878-79, I propose to describe briefly the character and operation of the several taxes of the island in the past, and the considerations that have guided me in framing the estimate for the present year.

Dimes, or Tithes on Produce of the Land.

This is the Government share of the produce of the land, and constitutes by far the largest item in the revenue of the island. In the, year 1874 the tithe was raised to an eighth part, or 12 1/2 per cent on the produce, but that was abandoned in 1876, and the tithe is all that has been since levied with the sanction of the Turkish Government.

The unit of the Turkish revenue system is the village; then the nahie, or group of villages; then the caza (canton); then the sandjak (arrondissement); and, lastly, the vilayet, or province, under a Governor-General, Director of Finance, and Council of Administration. Throughout these several stages-from the village to the nahie, caza, sandjak, and chief place of the vilayet-there are excellent rules for the check and disposition of the revenues, but they are not observed. Indeed, in the judicial, as in the revenue and financial administration of the island, the organisation of establishments and rules of procedure are commendable in every way, but the rules are unknown to, or ignored by, the officials employed to administer them.

The tithes are farmed by the Turkish Government to merchants and speculators in the spring of each year, when the ripening crops enable all concerned to estimate the extent and quality of the year's produce. The sale of the tithes (by villages, nahies, or cazas, as may be preferred) commences in March and ends on the 15th June, and whatever tithes then remain unsold the Government undertakes to recover through its own agents.

When the sales are effected the tithe-farmer signs a bond for the amount, payable in six monthly instalments, commencing from the 1st August, with interest on instalments not paid at due date. Each tithe-farmer is required to have a sufficient surety, who also signs the bond and is jointly and equally responsible with the principal. After conclusion of the agreement, the tithe-farmer proceeds at once to watch the fields in which he is interested and to estimate the yield. He sees the grain cut, threshed, heaped, and insists upon its remaining upon the threshing-floor until his claim is satisfied-the claim always exceeding the stipulated tenth. For wheat, barley, and other grains, arrangements have to be made by the cultivators for transit to the nearest port of embarkation, on terms more or less unfavourable to themselves. Their cattle are taken away for transport when most required in their own fields, and they have to bear all the expenses of transit, except the expense of the first mile, which is paid by the tithe-farmers. For fruit, vegetables, and other perishable articles, the tithe is commuted in a money payment, respecting which there are usually disputes, determinable by the local Kaimakam or head Government official of each caza. The awards of these officials are always in favour of the tithe-farmers, who are members of the Administrative Councils, or otherwise persons of influence in the cazas comprised in their respective engagements. Later in the year, or about the 15th August, the vineyards are similarly visited by the tithe-farmers or their representatives, and estimates of the produce are made by them and by the cultivators. These estimates always differ, and are the subject of constant disputes, which are referred to the Kaimakam, whose award is generally in favour of the tithe-farmer. As the grape cannot be removed until the claim is settled, the cultivator submits to the exactions of the tithe-farmers rather than risk the deterioration or loss of his stock, and is thus practically mulcted in proportions far exceeding a tenth of the entire produce. The effect of these illegal exactions has been to reduce the cultivation of the grape throughout the island.

But, though keen in their dealings with the peasantry, the tithe- farmers are slow in their own payments to the Government Treasury.

These payments are required, under their bonds, in six monthly instalments from the 1st August; grace is allowed for forty days, and the instalments are required to commence on the 10th September. They are delayed, however, on various pretexts, and reclamations and remissions of revenue are often unjustly obtained through collusion with the local Kaimakams and Malmudirs. Thus, the tithe-farmer makes his bargain with the Government when the crops are ripening, recovers his claim directly they are gathered, indefinitely postpones his own obligations to the Government and often evades them altogether. Although, under his bond, interest is payable on overdue instalments, it is never enforced. An examination of the accounts revealed the existence of considerable arrear claims extending over several years, and for the most part irrecoverable now. Practically, the tithe-farmer's obligations have never been discharged in the year to which they belonged. Of the collections credited in the year 1876-77, nearly one-half was on account of the claims of prior years.

These facts clearly show that the operation of the tithe system has resulted in a loss of revenue to the State. It has impoverished the peasant, involving him in the toils of the money-lender as well as of the tithe-farmer. It has checked the productiveness of the island, the area now under cultivation being less than a third of all the culturable lands of Cyprus. Some modification of the tax, or of the machinery for its collection, would therefore seem to be imperatively required.

There are not wanting points of analogy, as of difference, between Cyprus and some of the British provinces of India, and a suggestion has been made to substitute the Indian system of a fixed money payment for the tenth of the produce in kind. Curiously enough, the converse proposition has lately found favour in India in connection with the agrarian riots in the Dekkan, and what is there regarded as the bane of the Indian system is now proposed here as the antidote of the Turkish system. Like the Cypriote, but in a greater degree, the Dekkan peasant is poor, indebted, and indifferent to the improvement of his land, and both are constantly liable to the effects of drought and famine. But whilst the State requires from the former only a tenth part of his actual crops, the Indian peasant is liable for the full money rate fixed without regard to the rainfall and the crops. As between the State and the peasant, the elastic tithe tax would seem to be preferable-its evil working in Cyprus being due mainly to the irresponsible and unscrupulous agencies entrusted with the collection of the tithes. In attempting any reform, therefore, care should be taken at the outset to avoid principles or methods that have contributed in India to evils similar to those that have to be rectified here. The direction and scope of the reform must necessarily depend upon more complete information than is at present available respecting the land tenures and local agricultural customs of this island, the varieties of soil, the means of irrigation actual and possible, and the conditions and habits of the agricultural classes generally.

Information on these essential points may, however, be obtained before the termination of the present engagements with the tithe- farmers in March 1879. A rough field survey would prepare the ground for a systematic inquiry into rights and interests in each estate and village throughout the several districts of the island. The inquiry, conducted by the respective commissioners of districts in the next few months of favourable weather, may be made to embrace the following points 1. The extent of the several holdings, and whether held under proprietary, sub-proprietary, or occupancy rights. 2. The average produce of each estate or holding, and its value, say for the last three or four years. 3. The areas respectively (1) under cultivation, (2) not under cultivation but culturable, (3) unculturable and barren waste. 4. In the case of culturable lands not under cultivation, inquiry should be made whether this is the result of the oppressive way of collecting tithes, or the want of money or cultivators, or whether the land is required for grazing or other purposes. 5. The character of the soil in various parts of the island, and the respective producing capabilities. 6. The arrangements, existing and possible, for irrigation by wells, aqueducts, and tanks. 7. The proportion of the people occupied in agriculture, and the proportion in other pursuits than husbandry. 8. The personal condition of the agricultural classes, whether well housed, well clad, with good cattle, ploughs, and gear, or the reverse. 9. The standard for measuring land. The area of each estate or holding, after measurement, should be reduced to English standard acres.

The result of these inquiries, accurately and clearly recorded, would afford valuable data for determining the extent to which the present tithe arrangement may be modified for the ensuing financial year. Whatever modification may be adopted in substance, the tax will at least be collected without injustice or oppression, and the cost of collection will be covered by the increased revenue which must result from an improved administration. The proportion of the produce heretofore taken in Cyprus, as the share of the Sovereign power, is considerably below that taken in other Eastern countries. In India, this share under the ancient Hindoo Rajahs was one-sixth. Under the Mohammedan rule, a third of the average produce of average land was held to be the Government share. Under British rule, from one-third to one-half of the rental is the standard of assessment at the present day, representing a much larger proportion than a tenth of the produce of the land. And in Cyprus (as has been shown in the preceding remarks), although the declared share of the State was only one-tenth, the peasantry have contributed a very much larger proportion, the difference forming the perquisites of the collectors of the revenue. Hence it may fairly be assumed that the British administration may take a larger share than one-tenth of the produce, without imposing any additional burden whatever on the people. It may rather be hoped that any increased State demand upon the cultivator will still leave him a larger proportion of the fruit of his labours than he has heretofore enjoyed, with absolute freedom in disposing of it to the best advantage.

A further increase of the revenue from land may be anticipated from the extension of cultivation. With light assessments, improved communications, and occasional State aid, a large proportion of the culturable lands, now lying neglected, may be gradually brought under cultivation, stimulating the industry of the people, and increasing the productiveness and wealth of the island.

For the current year, however, the existing arrangement with the tithe-farmers must be accepted, and the revenue estimated accordingly. The year's tithes were sold for 82,088 Turkish liras, or nearly 74,000 pounds sterling, and the whole amount has yet to be collected. Already, the tithe-farmers plead inability to recover their dues from the cultivators. The truth probably is that, whilst the British administration has somewhat checked their habitual exactions, it has emboldened the peasantry to resistance which would never have been attempted under the Turkish rule. Due justice will be done between the parties, but, in any case, the Government claim of 82,088 liras is covered by sufficient security, and will be realised for the most part. During the earlier months of the current year, before the British occupation, the sum of 1,306,321 piastres was recovered on account of silk tithes and tithes of prior years. Adding this sum to the unrealised claims, and leaving a margin for default, the receipts for the year may be taken at 8,352,000 piastres, or 72,000 pounds sterling. The average of the previous five years was 8,584,786 piastres, and they included three years of scarcity. The account rendered by the Ottoman Government for the past year, 1877-78, exhibits the dimes or tithes at 12,500,595 piastres, but that was the amount of the year's demand, and the actual realisations amounted only to 5,072,872 piastres. Looking to the favourable conditions of the present year as compared with the past year, the estimate of 72,000 pounds sterling may be accepted.

Tithes on Vakouf Lands.

The tenth part of the produce of vakouf lands, fields, and gardens is appropriated for the maintenance of mosques, monasteries, tombs, and other religious foundations. The tithes on vakouf lands are paid to the Mutavelli, or local administrators of the vakoufs, who remit 20 per cent to the Minister of the Evkaf at Constantinople, and retain the balance. The Mutavelli are not required to account to any Government functionary for the revenue of vakouf lands beyond the annual subsidy of 20 per cent to the Evkaf. It is understood, however, that in many cases the objects and purposes for which these vakouf lands were assigned have long since ceased to exist, and thus not only are the pious intentions of the founders frustrated, but a considerable public revenue is diverted into private channels. The legal conditions attached to these vakouf lands, and to the lands and other property in Cyprus claimed for the Ottoman Crown and State (under Article IV of the Convention between Great Britain and Turkey) are at present the subject of a special inquiry, and the result will have an important bearing on the revenue to be hereafter administered by the British Government. For the present year, the tithes on vakouf lands have been farmed for 1,676 Turkish liras in the districts of Famagousta, Kyrenia, Papho, and Limasol. No tithes have been sold in the other divisions. As the tithes on vakouf lands do not belong to the general revenues of the island, they are not included in the estimate now submitted.

Verghis.

This tax is divided into three classes:— 1. Emlak verghisi, or impost on houses or immovable property, at 4 per thousand on the purchasing value. 2. Impost of 4 per cent on the rent of immovable property, or houses not occupied by their owners. The rent is assumed at io per cent of the value. 3. Verghi temetu, or impost on professions and trades, at 3 per cent on profits and salaries.

Before the beginning of each financial year, the district authorities prepare statements designating the contributions required from each village and town, according to the number of houses, the number and means of the population. The assessment is made roughly, and the tax is recovered by Moukhtars of villages, selected by the inhabitants and confirmed by the district authorities. All collections are forwarded, as recovered, to the Treasury of the sandjak.

All sales and transfers of immovable property, with the title-deeds thereto appertaining, have to be registered in the Registration Office, and the means are thus partially afforded for assessing the owners of property for the 4 per thousand on the value, and the 4 per cent. on the rental.

But the 3 per cent. on professional profits and salaries is arbitrarily fixed for each village, or group of villages, and the Moukhtars levy the personal contributions of each tax-payer as they think fit.

In this process there is considerable oppression of the poorer taxpayers, and also loss of revenue to the State. Both would be obviated, or at all events mitigated, by entrusting the assessment to Government officers, and by a more careful and exact registration of property, and of profits from trades and professions. The revenue from the licence tax in towns must largely increase in the future.

As a rule, the district officers endeavour to recover the verghis before tax-payers are subjected to the exactions of the tithe-farmers for payment of the dimes and other imposts. In some of the Turkish vilayets, the Government have gone so far as to forbid the local tribunals from condemning the tax-payers to pay the claims of third parties until they have assurance that the verghis have been paid.

The average yield of the verghis tax in the last five years was 3,521,083 piastres, or 30,354 pounds per annum. The account of the last year of the series (1877-78) showed a revenue of 3,193,850 piastres, or 27,535 pounds. The demand for the current year is 3,380,246 piastres, of which only 518,545 piastres have been recovered up to the present time. The slackness of the Turkish revenue officials in collecting this tax is due partly to the change of administration and uncertainty as to future taxation of the island, and partly to the war tax and other burdens imposed upon the people during the past year. The needful measures have now been adopted for effecting recovery, and as the tax affects property and the well-to-do classes, it is hoped that about 2,000,000 piastres will be recovered in the next six months. Adding this sum to the recoveries already effected, the revenue of the entire year is estimated at 2,552,000 piastres, or 22,000 pounds.

Tax on Exemption from Military Service.

This superseded the capitation tax formerly levied upon Christian subjects, and other subjects of the Porte who were not Mohammedans, for exemption from military service. It is a tax of 27 3/4 piastres for each male inhabitant from twenty to forty years of age, but practically it is levied upon males below and above the limits of age. Returns of the numbers coming under this impost are settled between the heads of villages and the Moukhtars. The latter are required to recover the money and pay it in twelve monthly instalments into the chest of the sandjak.

The rate of 27 3/4 piastres is equivalent to 5s. per man per annum. There is no apparent reason why it should not be paid at once and credited in the Government Treasury immediately on payment.

This tax is unpopular and offensive to those whom it affects throughout the Turkish dominions. The Greek, Armenian, Bulgarian subjects of the Porte have protested against it from time to time, but without effect. Were these declared eligible for military service on the same terms as Mohammedan subjects, but with the option of providing substitutes, the impost would be relieved of its invidious character, and perhaps yield a larger revenue to the State than heretofore. This, however, equally with the exoneration tax, would be inappropriate in Cyprus under a British administration, which does not require any considerable proportion of the population for military service. It is matter for consideration, therefore, whether this light tax may be continued in some other form.

The average yield of this tax during the past five years was eqivalent to 12,270 pounds a year. It increased last year, on account of the war, to 15,110 pounds. But in the current year the recoveries have been slack, for the reasons stated above in regard to the verghis, and the estimate is therefore for 1,044,000 piastres, or 9,000 pounds.

Tax on Sheep.

There is a regular enumeration of the sheep and goats throughout every village in the island during the month of March, and the tax is evied at the rate of 2 1/2 piastres, or about 6d. per head. The tax is collected by the Local Government officials, and with proper arrangements should all be recovered in the month of April, but there are considerable arrear claims, extending back to several years.

The average revenue derived from this tax in the last five years was 9,854 pounds per annum. The recoveries already made in the current year amount to 1,187,364 Piastres, or 10,235 pounds. The estimate for the entire year is taken at 1,276,000 piastres, or 11,000 pounds, and the realisation of this sum may be expected.

Miscellaneous Revenue.

Under this head are comprised various small taxes, such as the tax on sales and transfers of landed property, on contracts, on measurements, on sale of cattle, on swine, stamps, judicial fees and fines, &c. The average yield of these taxes in the last five years was 767,005 piastres, with an increasing tendency in the later years. The amount recovered in the first six months of the current year was 743,775 piastres. The estimate for the entire year may therefore be safely taken at 1,102,000 piastres, or 9,500 pounds.

Customs.

We now come to the indirect taxes. I hope on a future occasion to describe, more fully than time will allow at present, the effect of the existing customs tariff in the past, and the modifications that may be made under British administration in this important branch of the public revenue, and in the excise on tobacco and spirits. It is sufficient to say at present that the customs revenue is derived from a duty of 8 per cent. upon imports and 1 per cent. upon exports, and that the receipts of the last five years give an average of 981,405 piastres, or 8,460 pounds. The increased population and trade consequent upon the British occupation of the island have already had a sensible effect upon the revenue. The collections in the first four months of the current official year under Turkish rule amounted to 268, 718 piastres, or 2,316 pounds. In the next two months of British administration they amounted to 305,386 piastres, or 2,632 pounds, being an increase of over 127 per cent., and that without any change in the tariff or the customs regulations. A continuance of this rate may safely be reckoned upon for the next six months, and the revenue of the entire year is therefore estimated at 1,554,400 piastres, or 13,400 pounds. This estimate takes account of the probable early abolition of all export duties.

Excise on Tobacco and Spirits.

The receipts of the last five years give an average annual revenue of 6,475 pounds for tobacco and 4,546 pounds for spirits. The receipts for the first six months of the current year amount to 4,400 pounds for tobacco and 3,930 pounds for spirits. The estimate for the entire year is 8,650 pounds for tobacco and 8,200 pounds for spirits, and it is expected that the actual realisations will fully cover the estimate.

Revenue from Salt.

A considerable revenue was derived from the Government monopoly of the salt lakes in the neighbourhood of Larnaca and Limasol. The salt was sold for local consumption and for exportation to the coast of Syria, but an injudicious increase to the selling price, with short weights and increased cost of shipment, diverted the supply of the Syrian demand from Cyprus to the salt lakes of Tunis, and gradually reduced the revenue from this source. Owing to the excessive rains of last year, and the influx of more fresh water into the lakes than could be evaporated by the sun's rays during the summer, the lakes are at present unproductive. But in the earlier months of the current year, under Turkish administration, the sum of 1,756,840 piastres was recovered and credited in the Treasury on account of previous salt dues, and that amount is accordingly entered on the estimate with its English equivalent of 15,145 pounds. No other receipts are expected in the current year, and the revenue from salt has practically ceased. A considerable outlay will be required to repair and secure the salt lakes against the irruption of the drainage of the surrounding country.

The past revenue from salt should be excluded from the computation of the payment to be made to the Porte from the surplus revenues of Cyprus, under Article III of the Convention of 4th June, 1878.

To sum up. Having regard to the revenue arrangements concluded before arrival of the British in Cyprus, to the realisations in the first four months of the current year under Turkish administration, and to the altered conditions under which the finance of the remainder of the year has to be administered, I am of opinion that the revenue may be safely estimated at 170,000 pounds, as below:—

                                                           Pounds
Tithes on land . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72,000
Tax on property, professions, and trades . . . . . . . . 22,000
Tax on sheep . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11,000
Tax for exemption from military service. . . . . . . . . 9,000
Customs duties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,400
Excise on tobacco and spirits . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16,850
Salt monopoly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15,145
Miscellaneous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10,605
Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170,000

In future years even though the revenue from the salt monopoly be entirely lost, we may confidently hope for such an expansion of the revenue from land*, (*footnote: The island of Cyprus is 140 miles bang from east to West, with an average breadth of 30 miles. This gives an area of 4,200 square miles, or 2,688,000 acres. Assuming even 1,500,000 acres to be culturable, with an average rental of 2 shillings an acre, the should have a revenue from this source alone of 150,000 pounds a year.) from houses, from customs and excise duties, as will ensure a total income of more than 200,000 pounds a year.

Expenditure of Cyprus.

The estimate of expenditure is based upon the actual cost of the Turkish and native establishments now maintained, and the cost of the new agencies created by the change of administration. The account of expenditure rendered by the Ottoman Government for the past five years gives an annual average of about 24,000 pounds a year. Deducting from this rate the pay of officials and subordinate establishments no longer retained, also pensions and charitable allowances, and the cost for six months of the old Zaphtieh or police force (the corresponding charge for the reformed police force being added to the estimated cost of British establishments), the balance of 1,972,000 piastres, or 17,000 pounds, may be accepted as a fair estimate of the charges for native establishments in the island during the current official year. The charges for British establishments are estimated at 35,000 pounds, and they include expenses, incidental to the occupation of a new country, that are not likely to recur. It will be possible, in the future, to reduce the scale of charges for British and native establishments, as further experience is gained, and the entire machinery of the executive administration is brought under effective control.

The estimated expenditure for Native and British establishments may be broadly divided under the following heads:—

Central Administration-
        Including pay of the Turkish Governor for part
           of the year, and of the British High
           Commissioner, Financial and Judicial
           Commissioners, and High Court for remainder
           of the year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,400

     District Administration—
        Including British Commissioners of District,
           Native and British Establishments . . . . . . . 13,500
           Military Police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16,500
           Customs and Excise Establishment . . . . . . . 5,000
           Prisons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,000
           Miscellaneous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,600
                                                          ————
                                                           52,000

The expenditure of the current year being estimated at 52,000 Pounds, and the revenue at 170,000 Pounds, the resulting surplus will be 118,000 pounds. An examination of the accounts of Cyprus, for the five years preceding the British occupation, enables me to affirm that the average surplus of revenue over expenditure in that period was less than 100,000 Pounds per annum. The future yearly contribution to the Ottoman Government from the surplus revenues of Cyprus, under the Convention of the 4th June, 1878, will not, therefore, exceed, and may fall short of, the sum of 100,000 Pounds. Nearly one half of this claim for the current year was taken by the Turks from surplus revenue before our arrival. We shall easily make up the balance from the revenue now in course of collection. And, under ordinary conditions, the current revenue will not only cover the annual payment to the Porte and the expenses of administration, but also provide a fair outlay for roads and sanitary improvements.

(Signed)

GEO. W. KELLNER,
Financial Commissioner of Cyprus.

NICOSIA, CYPRUS, September 25, 1878.

ESTIMATE OF REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE FOR THE YEAR 1878-79

———————————————————————————————————- |No| Revenue | Amount|No| Expenditure |Amount | ———————————————————————————————————- | | | L | | | L | | 1| Dimes or tithes on pro-| |1 |Pay of the Turkish Go-| | | | duce of land . . . . | 72,000| |vernor of Cyprus for | | | | | | |part of the year, and | | | | | | |of the British High | | | | | | |Commisioner for | | | | | | |remainder of the year;| | | | | | |also Secretarial | | | | | | |Establishments for the| | | | | | |entire year. | 9,000| | | | | | | | | 2| Verghis, or tax upon | |2 |Finance and Accounts | | | | property, professions | | |Establishments . . . | 1,400| | | and trades . . . . . . | 22,000| | | | | | | | | | | | 3|Tax for exemption from | | | | | | |Military Service. . . . | 9,000 |3 |Law and Justice, | | | | | | |including Insular High| | | | | | |Court . . . . . . . . | 2,000| | | | | | | | | 4|Sheep tax . . . . . . . | 11,000|4 |Administrative Estab- | | | | | | |lishments of the six | | | | | | |districts of Cyprus, | | | | | | |including cost of col-| | | | | | |lection of district | | | | | | |revenues, establish- | | | | | | |ments of district | | | | | | |Judicial Courts, &c. .| 13,500| | | | | | | | | 5|customs Duties . . . . .| 13,400|5 |Cost of Prisons . . . | 3,000| | | | | | | | | 6|Excise on Tobacco and | |6 |Cost of Military | | | |Spirits . . . . . . . . | 16,850| |Police Force . . . . .| 16,500| | | | | | | | | 7|Salt Monopoly . . . . . | 15,145|7 |Customs and Excise | | | | | | |Establishments . . . .| 5,000| | | | | | | | | 8|Miscellaneous, including| |8 |Miscellaneous, | | | |tax on sale and transfer| | |including Educational | | | |of landed property, on | | |Establishments . . . .| 1,600| | |measurements, on con- | | | |_______| | |tracts, judicial fees | | | | | | |and fines, &c . . . . . | 10,605| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Total of Estimated| | | | | | | Expenditure . . . | 52,000| | | | | | | | | | | | | Surplus . . . . . |118,000| | | Grand total Estimated|_______| | | | | | Revenue . . . . . . .|170,000| | Grand total . . . |170,000| |__|________________________|_______|__|______________________|_______|

DETAIL ESTIMATE OF EXPENDITURE FOR BRITISH AND NATIVE ESTABLISHMENTS IN CYPRUS FOR 1878-79,

                        British Establishments.
                                                          L. s. d.
Cost of the Nicosia Division . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,844 12 0
Cost of other five divisions of Cyprus, viz.,
Larnaca, Famagousta, Limasol, Papho, and Kyrenia . . . 7,000 0 0
Financial Commissioner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 666 0 0
Judicial ditto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600 0 0
Judicial Clerk, and contingencies . . . . . . . . . . 200 0 0
Interpreter of High Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240 0 0
Director of Customs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 510 0 0
Customs and Excise Establishments . . . . . . . . . . 5,000 0 0
High Commissioner and office establishments,
travelling expenses, including furniture, 400L. . . . 5,700 0 0
Travelling allowances for High Commissioner . . . . . 300 0 0
Re-organised Police Force for the Island of Cyprus,
including pay, rations, and clothing . . . . . . . . . 11,000 0 0

Temporary translators to be hereafter absorbed in Civil Establishments and contingencies in connection therewith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,340 0 0 Miscellaneous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600 0 0 —————— 35,000 0 0

Native Establishments.

            Add. Piastres.
Expenses of Turkish Establishment 2,609,549

Deduct. Pay of Mutessarif for six months, 60,000 piastres; Zaphtiehs for six months, 500,000 piastres; Pensioners and correspondence &c. . . . . . . . . 637,549 ——————- 1,972,000 17,000 0 0

Total cost of British and Native Civil Establishments in Cyprus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52,000 0 0

ESTIMATES OF REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE IN CYPRUS FOR 1879-80.

ESTIMATE OF REVENUE, 1879-80

Nature of Revenue. Estimate, 1879-80.
                                   Piastres L
Tithes 8,640,000
Verghis 3,400,000
Military exemption 1,080,000
Sheep tax 1,220,000
Miscellaneous 2,000,000
Customs 2,800,000
Excise 2,128,000
                                —————————————-
Total 21,268,000 == 177,233

ESTIMATE OF EXPENDITURE, 1879-80.

Designation. Annual Cost
                                           L s. d. L s. d.
ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE CENTRAL
ADMINISTRATION.

The High Commissioner, Executive and
 Legislative Councils 11,106 17 0
The Department of Finance and Accounts 2,127 0 0
The Department of Law and Justice 4,985 12 0

DISTRICT ESTABLISHMENTS.

The District of Nicosia 4,453 8 0
       " Larnaca 4,585 3 0
       " Famagousta 3,035 8 0
       " Limasol 3,306 4 0
       " Papho 2,959 0 0
       " Kyrenia 2,131 0 0

Customs and Excise 4,636 18 0
Police 23,241 14 0
Prisons 2,583 17 0
Miscellaneous 1,000 0 0
Expenses of collection of taxes hitherto
  sold to tax-farmers 5,000 0 0
                                        ———————
Total of Establishments. 75,152 1 0

Payment under agreement with the Porte (about) 96,000 0 0 Interest on money borrowed for Public Works, shown in the annexed Schedule, say 1,200 0 0 Expenses of the Survey 1,990 0 0 ———————— Total Expenditure 174,342 1 0

APPENDIX.

SCHEDULES.

ROUGH DETAIL OF THE ROADS TO BE CONSTRUCTED IN THE FINANCIAL YEAR 1879-80. £ From Nicosia to cut through the fortifications at the Papho Gate, making a raised causeway over ditch and a road connecting it with the Government Office at the High Commissioner's residence, and with the main road from Nicosia to Larnaca, about 2 1/2 miles 800 From Nicosia to Kyrenia, about 16 miles 1,100* From Vassilia to Hai Grosch (Kyrenia district), about 22 miles 1,600* From Larnaca to Limasol, about 40 miles 6,000* From Limasol to Papho, about 39 miles 5,000& Chrysokou to Levka, about 32 miles 5,000& Nicosia to Famagousta, about 35 miles 4,000^ Famagousta to Trichomo, about 15 miles 1,000^ To improve the tracks between Trichomo and Carpas, 35 miles 2,700^ Rebuild culverts on Larnaca-Famagousta road 200^ Improving country roads in Larnaca district 900^ Gap in Mountain road from Larnaca to Messaria, to make it practicable for carts 100^ ———- Total 28,400 *Not finished for carts. &Not commenced. ^Most of these have not been commenced, August 1879.

ROUGH DETAIL OF NEW BUILDINGS TO BE CONSTRUCTED IN THE FINANCIAL YEAR 1879-80.

                                                       Estimated cost.
                                                               £
Rebuild the Konak of Nicosia 3,000
   " Konak and prison at Papho. 600
   " Mudirate at Chrysokou 70
   " Custom-house, Police barracks,
            and Konak at Limasol 1,500
The Mudirate of Kilani to be rebuilt at Platraes 500
Repairs to various buildings 330
                                                          —————-
     Total 6,000

APPENDIX.

ESTIMATE OF REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR ENDING 31st
MARCH, 1880, FOR THE DISTRICT OF BAFFO.

Kindly supplied by the Chief Commissioner, Captain A. G. Wauchope, 42nd Highlanders.

                   Revenue
No. 1—Tithes of Kuklia £1,100
        " Ballo 2,800
        " Khrysokus 3,400
 " 2— " Silk Production 760
        " Caroub Production 333
 " 3 Sheep tax £1,760
       Swine tax 250 2,010
 " 4—Weighing and Measuring tax 100
 " 5—Court Fees 226
       Registration of Property 120
       Inland Revenue Stamps 80
 " 6—Customs and Excise 1,000
 " 7—Verghi 3,747
       Askeria (freedom from military service) 708
 " 8—Miscellaneous 100
                                                               ———-
                                                               £16,484
                                                               ———-

EXPENDITURE.

No. 1—British Establishment, including Interpreters £1,330
 " Native do. do. 540
 " 2—Houses for Commissioner and Assistant do. £90
       Stationery 47
       Travelling Expenses of all officers 140 277
 " 3—Petty repairs £100, Public works £120 220
 " 4—Military Police 3,200
       Prison £114, Daavi Court £171 285
 " 5—Customs and Excise 280
 " 6—Tithing Expenses 880
 " 7—Expenses of Sheep tax £57, Pig tax £15, Weighing
         and Measuring £48 120
 " 8—Collecting Locust Eggs 120
                                                              ————
                                                                 7,252
           Balance of surplus Revenue 9,232
                                                              ————
                                                               £16,484
                                                              ————
SILK CULTIVATION OF BAFFO.

"This year the peasants brought to the market 34,000 okes of Silk (93,500 lbs.) cocoons, which realised to them about 6,800L. These cocoons were bought by three merchants excepting about 2,500 okes of silk wound by the people here." . . . "You are aware that the cocoon before being in a fit state to export must be dried, and during the process a great shrinkage takes place, which varies considerably according to the original quality of the cocoon. This year the cocoon was excellent and the shrinkage small; 3 1/2 wet cocoons equalling 1 dry, while last year 5 wet equalled 1 dry.

"It is upon the dried cocoon that the tithe is fixed. When the cocoon is good and the price likewise, there is very little winding done here."

"It is computed that the Caroub trees in the Baffo district number about 40,000. Of Olive trees I cannot give you anything like a guess; I should only be misleading you."

(Signed),"A. G. WAUCHOPE."

It will be remarked that no outlay is contemplated for road-making or repairs of bridges, nor for any of the necessary public works, as the general revenue of the island cannot afford the local expenditure. This otherwise prosperous little province would be self-sustaining, as sufficient income would be realised for the annual outlay required for road-making and other improvements. There cannot be a truer example of the error in our Convention with the Porte by which we have agreed to the surplus revenue exhibited by the Turkish system of accounts in an average of five years. The Baffo estimates show a surplus of 9232L. upon the financial year, but there is the forced neglect of all necessary improvements owing to the terms of our occupation, which rob the country of about 100,000L. annually. According to the figures of the Baffo forecast of revenue and expenditure, Cyprus can afford to pay the amount of rental to the Porte, but this is to the detriment of all public works, which will render material progress impossible, at the same time that the incubus of Turkish taxation will be permanent.

JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION.

By an Order in Council on 14 September, 1878, powers were given for the
administration of Cyprus by a High Commissioner appointed by Her
Majesty, together with a Legislative Council constituted according to
Clause VI. :-

"The Legislative Council for the said island shall consist of the High Commissioner for the time being, and of such other public officers and persons within the same, not being less than four or more than eight in number, as shall be named or designated for that purpose by her Majesty."

In Clause XXI. :-

"The High Commissioner may constitute and appoint all such Judges, Justices of the Peace, and other necessary officers in the said island as may lawfully be appointed by her Majesty, all of whom shall hold their offices during her Majesty's pleasure."

It was agreed with the Porte :-

"I. That a Mussulman religious tribunal (Mehkemei Sheri) shall continue to exist in the island, which will take exclusive cognizance of religious matters, and of no others, concerning the Mussulman population of the island.

"II. That a Mussulman resident in the island shall be named by the Board of Pious Foundations in Turkey (Evkaf) to superintend, in conjunction with a delegate to be appointed by the British authorities, the administration of the property, funds, and lands belonging to mosques, cemeteries, Mussulman schools, and other religious establishments existing in Cyprus."

The Turkish law courts were preserved in their original construction under the supervision of the Commissioners of the six districts:— Lefkosia, Larnaca, Famagousta, Baffo, Limasol, Kyrenia. These courts are the Idari and Daavi, the Temiz or supreme court sitting in Lefkosia. The Idari and Daavi courts exist independently in each district. The Cadi is judge in the Idari, which is composed of three Mussulmans and two Christians elected by the population, and this court is specially presided over by the British Commissioner, and all cases in detail are translated and entered in the register. The Daavi Medjlis or court consists of five members—the Cadi, two Mussulmans, and two Christians.

An appeal from the decisions of these courts can be made to the High
Court of Temiz at Lefkosia, the decision of which is final, only subject
to the influence of Clauses XXII. and XXIII. in powers granted to the
High Commissioner by Order in Council of 14 September, 1878 :-

"XXII. The High.Commissioner may, as he shall see occasion, in her Majesty's name and on her behalf, grant to any offender convicted of any crime, in any court, or before any Judge, Justice, or Magistrate within the said island, a free and unconditional pardon, or a pardon subject to such conditions as may at any time be awfully thereunto annexed, or any respite of the execution of the sentence of any such offender for such period as to him may seem fit."

"XXIII. The High Commissioner may, as he shall see occasion, in her Majesty's name and on her behalf, remit any fines, penalties, or forfeitures which may accrue or become payable to her, provided the same do not exceed the sum of fifty pounds sterling in any one case, and may suspend the payment of any such fine, penalty, or forfeiture exceeding the sum of fifty pounds until her Majesty's pleasure thereon shall be made known and signified to him."

MIGRATORY BIRDS.

The birds of passage that visit Cyprus (excepting swallows), exhibit a peculiarity in their insignificant numbers compared with their migrations upon the mainlands of Asia, Southern Europe, and Africa. The bustards that are so common in Turkey and Asia Minor are seldom seen. The grey crane frequently passes over Cyprus without resting upon its long flight, and in the month of March its loud cry may be heard so far in the blue sky that it is difficult to distinguish the flocks of these large birds at the stupendous height of their airy road towards the north. Even should the cranes condescend to rest for a short interval during an unfavourable wind, they leave on the first opportunity. I have frequently heard them high in air travelling throughout the night—thus during night and day they have been sailing northwards to make the most of fair wind and weather.

The sand-grouse is to be seen occasionally on the plains of Messaria, but never in the quantities that are met with in other neighbouring countries. Woodcocks are scarce, and those which are shot must have halted in the island during their passage en route for other shores. Snipe are very numerous in the marshes of Limasol salt lakes, Morphu, Famagousta, Kuklia, and Larnaca. Quails are never plentiful, and are inferior in condition to those of Egypt and Southern Europe. Wild ducks are to be seen on the lake near Famagousta and at Limasol. The wood-pigeons, and doves, together with fly-catchers, arrive in April, but never in large numbers.

Return of Villages, Population, etc., of Famagousta District.

                      Villages Churches Mosques Turks Christians Total
Naleieh of Famasousta 9* 20 6 685 3,978 4,663
   " Carpas 36 46 13 3,470 7,168 10,638
   " Messaria 68 66 29 4,861 12,434 17,295
                          113 132 48 9,016 23,580 32,596

* Includes Famagousta town. Piastres L s. d. The taxes for the year 1878 amounted to 1,370,221 = 11,418 10 4 (This being paid in Coime at a very variable rate, it is scarcely correct to reduce the amounts to sterling.) The tithes of this district were farmed out in 1878 for … … … 25,000 0 0

Revenue therefore was 36,418 10 4

The taxes for the year 1879 amount to… 10,379 90
This does not include indirect taxes such as
  Customs, say… 1,000 00

11,379 90

It is impossible to calculate the tithes yet for this year (1879). From Famagousta the chief exports are corn, from Messaria, donkeys, fruit, and pottery, the two latter chiefly from Varoshia.

Cyprus: Trooditissa Monastery, 4400 feet above the sea 21 September, 1879.

Messrs. Macmillan & Co.

MY DEAR SIRS,

If I am in time to secure the last efforts of the printer perhaps this letter in its integrity may convey the information which the autumnal season has afforded. The difficulty of all writers upon strange countries lies in their short experience. Each month exhibits the changes of nature in seasons, meteorological phenomena, and vegetation; thus the full twelve months should form the data for a detailed description. I closed my account of Cyprus in August; since which fruits have ripened and various changes have developed—all have afforded information.

Taxation in kind, and Government valuation of produce while growing, has been a crying evil that I have endeavoured to bring before the public as one of those instances of injustice which stamps the oppressive system of the Turkish administration; this unfortunately has not yet been abolished by the British Government. I have already described the arbitrary and unjust laws that fetter the all-important wine trade, which is the principal industry of Limasol; but since I forwarded the manuscript to England I have myself witnessed the miserable effects of the present laws during the advance of the season in ripening the produce of the vineyards.

Three weeks ago I walked for some hours through the boundless extent of grape cultivation at the foot of the mountains below the village of Phyni; at that time the crop was ripe, and should have been gathered.

The bunches of dark red were equal to the finest hot-house grapes of England, both in weight and in size of berries; the black were about the average of the Black Hamburg; the white were smaller and about the size of the common "sweet-water." A day or two ago I again visited the same vineyards; the grapes had not been gathered, and I computed that at least one-third of the crop was destroyed by the delay. The magnificent bunches of dark red were for the most part shrivelled, one-half the berries upon each cluster being reduced to the appearance of raisins, and utterly devoid of juice, while many of the other varieties were completely withered. The explanation given by the people was simple enough—"The official valuer had not appeared, and without his certificate no grapes could be gathered." There are only three valuers to an extensive district, and it is physically impossible that they can perform their duties, even were they inclined to attend when summoned to each village, in the absence of some special inducement. The actual labour of walking up the abrupt inclines upon the mountain sides which constitute the vineyards is most formidable, and at least four times the staff is necessary, of young and capable men, if the valuation of the crop is to be taken with due consideration to the interests of the grower. The distressing result that I have myself witnessed in the partial destruction of the crops can admit of no excuse, but it exhibits a painful example of mal-administration in the ruin attendant upon a Turkish system of taxation.

Some persons may suggest that the dried and withered grapes would be saleable as raisins: this is not the case. Raisins are not merely dried grapes, as is generally supposed, but the bunch of well-ripened berries is dipped in a strong solution of potash, and is then either suspended or is more generally laid upon a mat to dry. In Cyprus the growers seldom purchase potash, but they dip their grapes in a ley produced from the ashes of certain woods.

The vineyards at this season are swarming with a species of beccaficos, and the population are busy in catching these delicious birds with sticks smeared with bird-lime. It is a species of finch, a little larger than the chaffinch, the plumage a brownish grey; when plucked the body is much larger than the common beccaficos, but resembles it in extraordinary fatness and delicacy of flavour. The natives preserve them by boiling in commanderia wine, and they are highly appreciated. These must be added to the migratory birds of Cyprus.

The acorns are nearly ripe, and I am assured by the monks that even these insignificant productions pay a tax of 6d. per kilo (about 32 lbs.), and the crop is valued accordingly by the special authority. There are three varieties of large timber oaks in addition to the ilex and the prickly holly-leaved oak. The acorns of the ilex and holly- leaved species are small, but those of the three superior species vary in size, all being much larger than those of England, while one variety measures nearly three inches in length. This is used as food, with no other preparation than simple roasting, and is considered to be superior to chestnuts. The Ancient Britons used the acorn as an article of food, and probably it was ground into flour after the bitter principle had been extracted by soaking in running water, in the same manner that many varieties of wild yams are treated by the natives in Africa. In addition to the use of the acorn as a substitute for chestnuts by the Cypriotes, the large species when roasted black makes excellent coffee without any admixture of the real berry. All the varieties can be used for this purpose, but that already named is preferred as superior in flavour. The English poor are not clever in adaptation, and are known to be strong in prejudices respecting articles of diet, but it appears strange that the use of the acorn has been entirely neglected as an aid to the bulk of pure coffee, which would effect a considerable saving in the household, if the adulteration took place at home.

A few days ago I was conversing with the old monk upon the question of "Chittim wood," and I suggested my own theory, "that Solomon required the highly-scented cypress of this island" (for the Temple.) My venerable informant declared "that a wood exists to this day in Cyprus which is supposed to be the original species referred to in Scripture; this is a pine which is only found upon the mountains between Kyku and Khrysokhus. The grain and surface when planed are exceedingly close and smooth, and the timber is strong and durable, far exceeding in quality all other varieties." The native name for this tree is Kandro. I have sent a monk to gather the cones of this tree, which I shall send to England for seed, together with a sample of the foliage.

Sincerely yours,
Samuel W. Baker.

Sept. 24, 1879.

P.S. My messenger has just returned with a branch and cones of the tree, which is only found upon the mountains between Kyku and Khrysokhus. There is no longer a doubt. It is a beautiful species of Cedar.

S. W. B.


				

				

				

				

				




				




				

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