misery of his existence in a cave. In all these scenes, or rather anticipatory dreams, Adam, Eve and the arch-fiend Lucifer are the chief and constantly recurring personae dramatis. In the end, Adam, despairing of his race, wants to commit suicide, when at the critical moment Eve tells him that she is going to be a mother. Adam then prostrates himself before God, who encourages him to hope and trust. The diction of the drama is elevated and pure, and although not meant for the stage, it has proved very effective at several public performances.
Concerning Madach there is an ample literature, consisting mostly of elaborate articles by Charles Szasz (1862), Augustus Greguss (1872), B. Alexander (1871), M. Palagyi (1890), and others.
MADAGASCAR, an island in the Indian Ocean, and after New Guinea and Borneo the largest island in the world, about 260 m. distant, at the nearest point, from the S.E. coast of Africa, from which it is separated by the Mozambique Channel. Since 1896 Madagascar has been a French colony. It is 995 m. in length from N. to S., and about 250 m. in average breadth, although near the centre it is nearly 360 m. across; its area is about 228,000 sq. m., or not quite four times the extent of England and Wales. It lies mainly between 44° and 50° E. Its-northernmost point, Cape Ambro, in 12° S., inclines 16° to the E. from the longitude of Cape St Mary, the southernmost point, in 25° 35' S., so that the main axis of the island runs from N.N.E. to S.S.W. In its broad structure Madagascar consists of an elevated mountainous region, from gooo to 5000 ft. in altitude, occupying from two-fifths to a half of the centre and the eastern side of the island, around which are extensive plains at a much less elevation above the sea, and most developed on the western and north-west sides. But this lower region is broken up by masses of hills, with several elevated plateaus, especially in the south-west and south.
Physical Features.-Madagascar has a' very regular and compact form, with few indentations considering its great extent of shore-line. In general outline it has a strong resemblance to the 'impression of a, human foot-the left side. Along two-thirds of its eastern side the coast is almost a straight line, without any inlet, Tamatave, the chief ort on this side of the island, being only protected by coral reefs. lilorth of this line, however, is Antongil Bay, a deep and wide inlet running northwards for about 50 m.; farther north is Port Louquez, and at almost the extreme point of the island is Diego-Suarez Bay, one of the finest harbours in the world. But the north-western side of Madagascar is broken up by a number of inlets, some of them land-locked and of considerable size. South of Cape St Andrew, the north-west angle of the island, the coast-line is unbroken until the estuary of the river Onilahy, or St Augustine's Bay, is reached. Rounding the southern end of the island, there IS no other inlet save the small bay north of Fort Dauphin, at the southern end of the straight line of coast already mentioned.
The islands around Madagascar are few and unimportant. ~ The largest are Ste Marie, near the eastern coast, a narrow island about 35 m. long, and Nossi-bé (q.v.), larger and more compact in form, opposite Ampasindava Bay on the N.W. coast. Except the Minnow group, north of Nossi-bé, the rest are merely rocky islets, chiefly of coral.
The shores of the greater portion of the southern half of the island are low and flat, but in the northern half the coast is often bold and precipitous, the high land occasionally approaching the sea. On the eastern side the plains vary from 10 to 50 m. in breadth, but on the western side they exceed in some localities 100 rn. From these coast-plains the ground rises by successive ranges of hills to the high interior land. This elevated region is broken in all directions by mountains, from which the crystalline rocks show most frequently as huge bosses, and in certain regions present very varied and picture sq ue outlines, resembling Titanic castles, cathedrals, domes, pyramids and spires. The highest mountain mass is centrally situated as regards the length of the island, but more to the eastern side. This is the ancient extinct volcano Ankaratra, three of the highest points varying in elevation from 7284 to 8635 ft. above the sea, and from 4000 to 5000 ft. above the general level of the surrounding country( The loftiest of these is named Tsi-afa-javona, Le. “ That which the mists cannot climb.” it had been supposed that Ankaratra was the highest point in the island, but in 1903 it was found that Amboro, in the northern province of Antankarana, is about 9490 ft. in altitude. Besides these highest points there are a considerable number of mountains in the central provinces of lmérina and Bétsiléo and the intervening and surrounding districts; and in the Bara country the lsalo range has been compared to the “Church Buttes" and other striking features of the scenery of Utah.~ One of the finest of the Madagascar mountains is an isolated mass near the northern point of the island called Ambohitra. This is 4460 ft. high, and rising from land little above the sea-level, is well seen far out to sea.
In the elevated region of Madagascar are many fertile plains and valleys, the former being the dried-up beds of ancient lakes. Among these are Betsimitatatra in Imerina, and Tsienimparihy in Bétsiléo, supplying a large proportion of the rice required for the capitals of these two provinces. Still more spacious valleys are the Antsihanaka country and the Ankay district, between the two eastern lines of forest. The extensive coast plains on the western side of the island are chiefly in Iboina (N.W.) and in Ménabé (S. of the Tsiribihina River); those on the east are widest in the Taifasy country (S.E.). The water-parting for six-sevenths of the whole length of the island is much nearer the eastern than the western side, averaging from 80 to 90 m. from the sea. There are no arid districts, except in the extreme south-west and towards the southern point of the island. The general surface of the interior highland consists of bare rolling moor-like country, with a great amount of red claylike soil, while the valleys have a rich humus of bluish-black alluvium.
The chief rivers flow to the west and north-west sides of the island. The eastern streams are all less in size, except the Mangoro, which fiows parallel with the coast. Few of them therefore are of much service for navigation, except for the light-draught native canoes; and all of them are more or less closed at their outlets by sand-bars. Beginning at the south-eastern point and going northwards, the principal rivers are the Mananara, Manampatrana, Matitanana, Mananjary, Mangoro, with its great affluent Onivé, Vohitra, Maningory, and the Antanambalana at the head of Antongil Bay. On the N.W. coast, going southwards, are the Sofia and Mahajamba, falling into Mahajamba Bay, the Bétsiboka with the Ikopa—the great drains of the northern central provinces, forming unitedly the second largest river of the island and falling into Bémbatoka Bay-the Mahavary, Manambolo, Tsiribihina or Onimainty, the third largest river, with its tributaries the Kitsamby, Mahajilo and Mania, the Morondava, Mangoky, probably the largest river in the country, with its important tributaries the Matsiatra, Manantanana and Ranomaitso, the Fiherenana and Onilahy. On the south coast are four considerable streams, the largest of which is the Ménarandra. Of the western rivers the Betsiboka can be ascended by small steamers for about 100 m., and the Tsiribihina is also navigable for a considerable distance. The former is about 300 m. long; the latter somewhat less, but by its affluents spreads over a greater extent of country, as also does the Mangoky. The rivers are all crossed frequently by rocky bars, which often form grand waterfalls. The eastern rivers cut their way through the ramparts of the high land by magnificent gorges amidst dense forest, and descend by a succession of rapids and cataracts. The Matitanana, whose falls were first seen by the writer in 1876, descends at one plunge some 400 ft.; and on the Vohitra River, whose valley is followed by the railway, there are also many hne waterfalls.
On the eastern side of Madagascar the contest between the fresh water of the rivers and the sea has caused the formation of a chain of lagoons for nearly 300 m. In man places these look like a river following the coast-line, but frequently they spread out into extensive sheets of water. By cutting about 30 m. of canal to connect them, a .continuous waterway could be formed for 270 m. along the coast. This has already been done for about 55 m. between Ivondrona and Andovoranto, a service of small steamers forming part of the communication between the coast and the capital. Besides these lagoons, there are few lakes of any size in Madagascar, although there were some very extensive lakes in a recent geological epoch. Of the largest of these, the Alaotra Lake in the Antsihanaka plain is the relic; it is about 25 m. long. Next comes Kinkony, near Maroambitsy Bay (N.W. coast), about 16 m. long, and then ltasy, in western lmerina, about half as large. There is also a salt lake, Tsimanampetsotsa (S.W. coast), about as large as Alaotra. There is now no active volcano in Madagascar, but a large number of extinct cones are found, some apparently of very recent formation. Some miles south of Diégo-Suarez is a huge volcanic mountain, Ambohitra, with scores of subsidiary cones on its slopes and around its base. About 40 m. south-west of Antananarivo there is a still larger extinct volcano, Ankaratra, with an extensive lava field surrounding it; while near Lake Itasy are some 200 volcanic cones. Another group of extinct volcanoes is in the Vakinankaratra district, S.W. of Ankaratra. Many others exist in other parts of the island (see § Geology). Slight shocks of earthquake are felt every year, and hot springs occur at many places. Several of these are sulphurous and medicinal, and have been found efficacious in skin diseases and in internal complaints.-Geology.-Madagascar may be divided into two very distinct
geological regions, viz. (I.) the Archean Region, which extends over the central and eastern portions of the island and occupies about two-thirds of its whole area, and is composed of crystalline schists; and fll.) the Western Region, of sedimentary rocks, including the remaining third of the island, in the centre of which, however, is an isolated patch of Archean rocks, near Cape St Andrew. There are also found in both regions numerous masses of igneous rocks, both plutonic and volcanic, in some places of considerable extent, which pierce through and overflow the earlier formations.