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316

PRODUCTIONS OF THE ISLAND.

flax and cotton are successfully cultivated on the island, but neither in a sufficient quantity to meet the demand of its inhabitants: what they do grow is manufactured by the peasantry for their own use.

The fruits and vegetables of Candia are particularly fine, and the list of them includes almost every variety, not omitting those monsters of the vegetable world, the aloe and prickly pear ( ficus indicus), neither of which, however, is held in such estimation, or turned to such useful purposes, as in other countries.

The greater portion of the produce of Candia is exported to Turkey, but its oil (which, indeed, is the principal source of revenue of the island, and considered particularly fine), finds a sure market at the Austrian ports of the Adriatic, and even at those of the south of France. The island is badly stocked with cattle (goats only excepted), and the breeds are extremely small. Horses and mules are now imported in considerable numbers. Reptiles of all sorts are scarce, but the forests

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abound with the ibex, wild boar, and wolf. Game is also plentiful in some parts of the island, and poultry is every where abundant.

. Candia is indebted to Egypt for the corn and flax she stands in need of, as well as for rice, soda, hides, and cured fish : most of the other articles for which she has occasion are procured from Austria-timber and manufactured goods in particular.

In the interior of the country, the articles of home produce are to be obtained at a very cheap rate, for the same reason that every thing foreign is extravagantly dear, viz. the want of roads. This want is particularly felt by the inhabitants of the southern division of the island; for, all the ports being on the northern coast, the produce of the fertile plains lying on the sunny side of the mountains must necessarily be sent on mules' backs over the barely practicable tracks that I have attempted to describe; and this mode of transport entailing a considerable expense, occasions, of course, a corresponding advance on the price of the commodities.

318

SOURCES OF REVENUE.

There are, it is true, two small ports, Sphackia and Girapetra, on the south side of the island; but, in addition to being difficult of access by land, they are very insecure: and even were they otherwise, the export trade of the island being directed to Europe, and not to Africa, the ports on the northern coast would always be preferred to ship from.

The principal source of revenue in Candia is the miri, or land tax-a duty of seven and a half per cent on the produce of all the land of the island: besides this, vineyards are subject to an additional impost, according to measurement: and a tax is levied on every head of cattle, that on sheep being forty-two paras (about threepence) per annum. The inhabitants cannot, however, be considered highly taxed, since they are not subject to either a poll tax, or house and window taxes; nor have they poor's rates to pay — nor a church establishment to support; both the churches of the Greeks, and the mosques of the Mohammedans, being endowed with lands for their maintenance.

THE GREEK CHURCH.

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The Greek church, nevertheless, draws heavily, in the way of voluntary contributions and penances, on the purses of its superstitious disciples; so that in this respect the Candiote Mussulmans are exempt from a charge that their Christian brethren have to bear, and it is the only kind of tax they do bear with any degree of patience. Superstition is, however, stronger with them than even the love of gain; and, working upon that, their ghostly preceptors induce them to contribute pretty largely to the support of the various religious establishments — that is, of the priesthood which is the only department of the Greek church that appears to have derived benefit from these free gifts. The island is divided into eleven bishoprics, under the archiepiscopal see of Çandia.

The price of labour in the rural districts varies from three to four piastres a day. In the vicinity of the towns, it amounts to six, and carpenters, masons, and other artificers, are paid as high as eight or ten. Provisions of all sorts are much dearer than in Egypt;

320

EXPENSE OF TRAVELLING.

but the lower orders of Candiotes manage, nevertheless, to feed better than the corresponding classes in the sister kingdom—that is to say, according to our English notions for a Greek's daily consumption of animal food is equal to that of the entire population of an Arab village.

The expense of travelling keeps pace with the advance in price of provisions and labour, it being at least four times greater than in Egypt. The sum for which a camel can be hired on the banks of the Nile will not procure an ass in Candia, and in all their dealings the Candiotes are equally as distrustful of strangers as the Arabs, less faithful to their engagements, and more cunning and extortionate.

Here, as in every other part of the world that has long bent under the Mohammedan yoke, smoking is a prevailing vice. The Greek, however, is not such a perfect slave to his pipe as either the Turk, Arab, or Persian -not that he loves smoking less, but because his pipe is shorter. He can, therefore, move

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