Rhodes and Cyprus

Oct 19th

Passed Patmos early this morning, and will soon be in sight of Rhodes. Sailed close by Kos, ancient Cos, birthplace of Aesculapius and Hippocrates, also, on the mainland, the birthplace of Herodotus. Lots of children on board; in them and their ways see more similarity to our children than in their respective ?parents. The ship is very steady; but slow. The weather keeps charming - have not had a bad day yet. All the party went ashore in hire boats. A most amusing and exciting race between the boatmen ensued, which was kept up for fully 5 minutes. There is no bay here, and the appearance of the place is nothing particular. There is a small harbour, partly natural, and improved by breakwaters, said to be the old harbour where the Colossus is said to have stood. It is nearly 200 yards wide; but, no doubt, if the same ever existed, a wall or breakwater extended across the greater part of the space. There are some substantial buildings here, built by the Knights of Rhodes in the 15th Cent. There are more trees to be seen than on the other islands, and one of the party made out that the name came from Rose. After dinner, played Chess with a German gentleman resident of Beyrout, and afterwards remained on deck till eleven. The moon was full, and all calm and beautiful. Thoughts of my little one and home and what had been my home: my darling came powerfully into my mind!

What a sweet saddening feeling comes over, as we gaze quietly at the moon: and how vividly home, with all its charms, draws away the heart. Travel, with all its variety and interests comes not near the sweet pleasures of home.

Oct 20th

Going to bed, all was calm and still: but we wakened early with the pitching of the vessel and the noise of crying children and ominous sounds of sickness. I did not feel any myself; but, not being able to sleep, went on deck about six o'clock. There was a good deal of twisting about with a strong wind ahead; but the air was very clear. When I first went on deck we had left the only land in sight on the right about 10 miles away and now at 3 p.m. it is still discernible and must be at least 80 miles away.

It has been a very quiet morning - the majority being prostrate. Felt a little squeamish; but took breakfast and now am well again and the steamer is steadier. In the evening played at Chess with Campbell - won three games.

Oct 21st

All night were sailing along the coast of Cyprus; came to anchor at the port Larnica about six o'clock. Bay is extended and not well sheltered; but is said to be the ancient Shittim and celebrated for its fleet. Cyprus gave birth to Venus, perhaps at Paphos (other side of island).

About 12 of us went ashore early, and went at once to the American Consul, Mr ... who has collected a splendid lot of antiquities, now in New York, and is still engaged in the same way. He received us courteously, and offered us wine and coffee, and showed us the choice things of his collection, including vases, statues, books, tear bottles, ointment bottles, lamps etc., with glass, earthenware and marbles, some of them very beautiful - the Phoenician glass bowls being especially worthy of notice, being a beautiful purple colour - said to be made 600 to 800 B.C.

I went through the market street, same style as other isles, then to Greek Church, where, in a small vault, the tomb of St Lazarus is shown. (After Christ raised him from the dead he was Bishop of Cyprus.) Went to an antique dealer and some of us traded. I bought a small dish, got at Paphos, of ancient Greek manufacture for 2 francs. Then as a specimen of American and English cheek, went into 2 wine stores and, after sampling various wines, came out without buying, because the merchant wanted to charge extra for the bottle. Came back to steamer - got a good tossing, our boat being an old tub and men somewhat the same.

The island is generally mountainous; but here the slope inland is gradual. The men engaged upon the excavations get from 25 to 35 cents per day (i.e. 1/- to 1/6), and there are 280 at work. We have an opportunity for studying the life in the seraglio, as we have a number of Turkish women on board. They are listless and apathetic, and lie about on cushions nearly all the time. Smoking cigarettes is one of their amusements and an occasional one is seen reading. The better sort of Black women are with them as servants and nurses for the children. They appear to be ... .

Generally they were of course veiled up, except the eyes; but at times we could get a peep of a larger surface. But really their charm, if they have any, consists in their being veiled: for what was hidden was not pre-possessing in the cases that came before me. Their dress is loose trousers drawn tight at the ankle, and a large loose white robe which covers them entirely. The head and face are covered with white calico, so that, in the dark, they bear out one's idea of a ghost pretty well.

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