Page:Madagascar - Phelps - 1883.djvu/83

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MADAGASCAR.

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barked for the Indian Archipelago. The ship, driven out of her course by a storm, was wrecked on the Island of Madagascar, and he not only lost all he possessed, but was reduced to slavery and taken to the capital to be sold. His skill in manufacturing weapons and other articles coming to the knowledge of the Queen, she entered into an agreement with him to give him his liberty if he would serve her faithfully for five years. Establishing a workshop, he furnished the Queen with all kinds of weapons, powder, and even small cannons, and so highly did she esteem his opinions that she consulted him in several important affairs, yielding not unfrequently to his appeals in behalf of those who had been sentenced to death. And not only was he favored by the Queen, but he became very popular with the nobles and people, to whom he acted as physician, confidential friend and helper. The five years passed away, and as he had received from his patroness house, home, and slaves, and had married a native woman, by whom he had a son, he gradually became radicated to the soil. Though free to go, yet he chose to stay, and in course of time he established other work-shops for glass-blowing, indigo dyeing, soap and tallow boiling, and a distillery for rum. He also strove to introduce European fruits into the island, though his example in this respect was not readily followed by the natives.

At Mr. Latrobe’s house the travelers were introduced to two clergymen, Europeans, who, though missionaries, feared to have the fact known, and in consequence were for the time being under the protecting roof of their friend, one as a physician, and the other as a tutor to Mr. Latrobe’s son, who had returned from Paris, where he had been sent to be educated. Mr. Latrobe's style of living was sumptuous in the extreme, his table being loaded with luxuries served on massive silver, and his champagne being drunk from silver goblets, a style which he had introduced himself for economy’s sake to save china ware, and in which he had been initiated by the nobles. While the travelers were at dinner, and the champagne was being handed round, a slave came running in to announce Prince Rakoto. In a moment afterwards the Prince himself entered and rushed into Mr. Lambert's arms, and the two remained for a long time in each other’s embrace, without finding words to express their joy.

Thus far everything had gone on brilliantly and to the satisfaction of the parties concerned. Nor were flattering appearances destined to end yet, Mr, Lambert and his lady compan-