A SKETCH OF
boasalama, the cousin and rival of Prince Rakoto, and whom, previous to the birth of Rakoto, the Queen had declared her heir and successor.
It was on the day succeeding this failure of Mr. Lambert’s diplomatic arrangements that he and his lady friend received an invitation to dance the pas de deux at the palace—certainly a provoking conclusion to such a brilliant and promising beginning!
But if the affair had ended here, it would have been well. Unfortunately the reaction fell in redoubled force upon the native Christians. A great Kabary was called by the Queen for the purpose of hunting out and punishing with death all who remained true to their Christian belief. A considerable number were discovered and put to the most insufferable torture. One old woman was dragged into the market-place, and had her backbone sawn asunder. The Europeans were confined in their own quarters, and kept in a constant state of apprehension as to their fate. One consideration alone seemed to operate in their behalf; and that was that in case they should be put to death, the European governments might exact from the government of Madagascar a terrible retribution.
In the midst of the Queen’s disfavor, however, she sent to Mr. Lambert for the presents which he had brought, and they were sent up to the palace. But they were presently returned, and Mr. Lambert, Mr. Marius, the two other Europeans, and Madame Pfeiffer were ordered to depart from the city within an hour. Mr. Latrobe was allowed to remain twenty-four hours longer, and to carry off all his movable property except slaves. His son might choose either to go or stay, just as he pleased. They were allowed carriers for themselves and property (including the presents), and a military escort was assigned to them, which appeared to execute its orders to the very letter, if we can judge by the inconvenience to which they put the party. The journey from the capital to Tamatavé is usually performed in eight days; but on this occasion the party were detained on the route fifty-three days, and at times in low, swampy places, as if the design was that they should die from the fever. At last, however, after suffering every conceivable hardship, embittered by indignities of the most disgraceful character, the party arrived at Tamatavé, and the Commandant of the military escort saw them on board of a vessel bound for the Mauritius, where they arrived on the 22d of September.