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A SKETCH OF

but the effects of their cupidity. The French government has, at long intervals, formed, or rather attempted to form, establishments amongst these people; but the agents in these enterprises have attended exclusively to the interests and emoluments of the Europeans, and particularly to their own profits; while the interests and well-being of the natives have been entirely forgotten: some of these ministerial delegates have even been dishonest adventurers, and have committed a thousand atrocities. It cannot, therefore, excite surprise, that sometimes they have experienced marks of the resentment of the Malagasy, who, notwithstanding, are naturally the most easy and sociable people on earth.”

After the visit of Lescallier, no other attempt was made by the French to establish a settlement in the island; the wars which succeeded the revolution giving full employment to the national resources; so much so, that it was at one period in contemplation to extend the conscription law to the Isle of France, for the purpose of supplying the army at home; and during the short peace of 1801, Borg de St. Vincent was sent on an errand of this kind to Madagascar. The island, he said, “is capable of being made the first colony in the world, and would supply the loss of St. Domingo, if the French government chose. It possesses advantages far superior in many respects to that unhappy country. It would form a fine military position in any war that might ensue in the Indies. Its productions are infinitely more various, labor would be cheaper, its extent is more considerable, and it would afford a good retreat to those Americans, who, having lost everything by the revolution, are now dependent on our government, who might distribute lands amongst them, with the means of conveyance, and temporary existence there.”

The French government had often been interrupted, as will have been seen by the perusal of these pages, in its plans for colonizing Madagascar. After the lull in the revolutionary tempest of 1801, the war broke out in Europe with greater violence than ever, and notwithstanding her successes at home, France saw her colonies fall, one after another, into the hands of her persevering rival. It was, however, a long time before Great Britain could effect the reduction of the Isles of France and Bourbon. Engaged in extensive enterprises in the European seas, her fleets were fully employed, and the squadron sent against those distant islands was too weak to effect the purpose. Great bravery was displayed in the engagements be-