A SKETCH OF
1882. This gentleman stated at a public meeting in London that on landing at Tananarivo, whither he was sent as Conmmander-in-chief of the East Indian naval station to congratulate the Queen of Madagascar, he was surprised to find what manner of people the Malagasy were. He found Tananarive to be a really splendid city, with magnificent public buildings. The house he lodged at was as good as any in London, and there was a Roman Catholic church which would not disgrace Paris.
The Prime Minister, who was, curiously enough, husband of the Queen, and almost the most intelligent, astute, and cleverest man he had ever met, occupied a splendid official residence.
The Premier knew precisely how far he could advance in the path of civilization, and where to stop. No outside people could so well control the Malagasy as the present Prime Minister, During the Queen's reign of ten years he had publicly abolished idol worship and embraced Christianity. The nobles of the land as well as the mass of the population were now Christians. The Premier was an educational reformer, and had established numerous schools. He had abolished "trial by poison," a superstitious rite which used to decimate the country. It was intended to make the Queen de facto as well as de jure the monarch of the island, and it was a great pity that any disturbance should come to the existing state of things. Among other beneficient changes the Prime Minister had wrought in the government of the island, at the hazard of his life, was the abolition of the introduction of slaves from Africa. He did this with one stroke of the pen, and in doing it he did away with what might be called the "material wealth" of Madagascar, A man had before been considered richer or poorer in proportion to the number of slaves he owned. A natural anxiety prevailed that a country which had so far progressed in civilization should not go back.
By the beginning of 1883 an embassy was received in England from the Queen of Madagascar, and its members were entertained by the government and people with the most respectful and considerate attention, everything of interest being shown to them in a way to heighten their regard for the Christian civilization and power of Great Britain, as well as for the kindness and benevolence of the citizens and missionaries.
This embassy subsequently visited the United States, where it