Page:Madagascar - Phelps - 1883.djvu/55

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munication with the interior of Madagascar, and be able to make the best use of the friendship of that prince, for the mutual interests of our respective countries.

“I trust your lordship will not disapprove of those peaceful and inexpensive overtures to a more constant and safer intercourse with the island of Madagascar; means of this nature will enable us to push our commerce further than the forts and garrisons which have hitherto afforded protection to the merchants who traded thither. The former governors of these islands have, in every period of their history, in vain endeavored to obtain that friendly footing which is now sought and offered to us by the native princes.

“I shall not intrude longer upon your lordship's time, by any exposition of the political value of Madagascar, as farming an appendage to the British sovereignty in these seas, as my former letters have been sufficiently explicit on that head; but I may be allowed to observe, that it appears to me, that the means are at present in our hands of cutting off, in a great measure, at its source, the slave-trade in these seas, and that I shall not neglect so favorable an opportunity of availing myself of them to the fullest extent.”

Such were the means adopted to induce Radama to send over to Mauritius two of his younger brothers, Ratifikia and Rahovy, for the purpose of receiving an European education. At the close of the same year a mission was sent by Governor Farquhar, with the intention of forming a treaty of friendship and peace with Radama. The party sent for this purpose consisted of Captain Le Sage, as agent, a medical gentleman, about thirty soldiers, a Monsieur Jolicoeur as interpreter, several artificers who had been sent to Mauritius as convicts from India, Verkey, who was at that time in the employment of the traders, but afterwards sent to England, and some others. The soldiers were sent with a view of exhibiting to Radama the military manoeuvres of disciplined European troops. A considerable number of this party unhappily fell victims to the Malagasy fever, in consequence of having traveled through the country during the rainy season, which has been found by experience to prove fatal. Yet notwithstanding a severe attack of this fever, Le Sage reached the capital, gave the presents with which he was charged to the King, Radama, and on the 14th of January, 1817, performed the ceremony of taking the oath of blood with that monarch. On the 4th of February following a treaty was concluded with which Le