Page:Madagascar - Phelps - 1883.djvu/54

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“Subjoined is the copy of a private instruction on this head, which I furnished to M. Chardeneaux, and his answer.

“Of the brothers of Radama, now arrived here, one is the presumptive heir of his authority; they are accompanied by two of the chief ministers of their prince, by a son of one of the nobles of the nation of Betanininies, three ministers of the King of Tamatave, two chieftains of the South, and a numerous suite.

“We have reason to look on the persons now here, on the part of their respective sovereigns of Madagascar, as representing all that is powerful in the center and on the coasts of that vast island.

“Of these sovereigns, the most warlike, most intelligent, and possessing the greatest means, is Eadama. His people are the most industrious, and further advanced in the arts of life than any other nation of Madagascar; and he has incorporated into the mass of his subjects, and reduced to his authority, all the surrounding petty States; his army consists of 40,000 men, armed with fire-arms.

“It therefore appears that the friendship of so powerful a chieftain cannot fail in being eminently useful in assuring the safety, and facilitating the commerce which may be undertaken with a view of replacing that traffic in slaves abolished by the legislature.

“These friendly bonds will, no doubt, be strengthened, and the prospect of growing civilization opened, by the opportunity now given to the young princes to learn the arts and customs of European life, and the principles of our religion.

“The king Eadama is himself eager for instruction; writes his language in Arabic character, and is learning to write French in Roman letters. His brothers, who are arrived here, appear very intelligent for their age, which is about nine or ten years, and capable of acquiring every requsite principle of morals and religion.

“There is a British missionary here, of the name of LeBrun, who has been remarkably successful in the education of the numerous class of free colored people with which this island abounds; and he has conducted himself with so much discretion, as not to have given the smallest offence to any of the inhabitants, although his employment is of that nature to be viewed with jealousy by colonists in general. It is my intention to propose to this man to proceed to the court of Eadama, and reside there; by which means I shall have constant com-