into the details of this sad affair, and point out the last step in in the line of action pursued by the Prime Minister that led to the murder of the King; it is sufficient to state that a direct issue was made between the absolution of the King and the more liberal usages of the people of Western Europe, which issue was perhaps inevitable, and in which one party must meet with defeat, sealed and signalized by death. Yet we may mention one of the incidents in the contest which will serve to show the manner in which it was carried on. Formerly a certain form of respect had been paid to the idols when they were borne through the streets of the capital, and altogether unlike that which the Romanists exact for the host when it appears in public; and the King ordered similar demonstrations of respect, the lifting of hats, whenever the sick were carried through the streets. This was a kind of a compromise with Romanism and Paganism which the English decidely refused to comply with, and which of course served to hasten matters to their final issue. It was plain that one of the three conflicting powers must have the ascendency.
The King, though surrounded by his faithful detective police called the Mena maso, “red eyes,” from the supposed continued strain to their eyes from difficult investigation, felt himself at last reduced to the necessity of legitimatizing murder in order to defend his authority from further encroachments. He announced his intention of issuing an order that any one who wished to fight with fire-arms, swords, or spears, might do so with impunity, even though death should result as a consequence. An order which, if carried out, would have placed all Europeans and Christians at the mercy of the idolaters of the island.
Under the direction of the Prime Minister the palace was surrounded by troops; several of the Mena maso were captured and killed, and the others demanded of the King. These he felt compelled to deliver up, though stipulating for their lives; and they were sent away to be ironed, as Christians had been under the reign of Ranavalona. The few troops with the King refused to fire upon those surrounding the palace, and the people, though pitying him, did not take up arms in his defence.
Soon after the death of the King, four of the chief nobles went to the Queen, with a written paper, which they handed to her, containing the conditions on which they proposed that the country should in future be governed. They requested her to read it, stating that if she consented to govern accord-