A SKETCH OF
engaged in performing their part of the "work of civilization. The former had established schools which were largely attended, and on the part of the military an entire regiment had been modled and disciplined on the European system, by means of which the King was fast subduing the entire island to his single control. The Sakalavas, a powerful tribe of blacks, had formerly been the leading tribe of the island, but by means of the European system of tactics now used in the army of Radama, they were forced to succumb to his power.
A number of Malagasy youths were sent to England to be educated, two of whom were put into a government establishment to learn the art of making powder, while the others were confided to the care of the directors of the London Missionary Society, by whom they were placed under kind and attentive instructors. The King established a large school in the court-yard of his palace, consisting of officers of the army and their wives, who were instructed by his own secretary. The orthography of the language of the country was established, and by the authority of the King the English consonants and the French vowels were adopted. Mr. Hastie brought from Mauritius a band of music which had been instructed there. A printing press was finally introduced into the island, and in course of time large editions of spelling and other elementary books were printed, amounting to five thousand copies each, but yet not enough were supplied to meet the growing demand. The printing and book-binding of the mission was performed to a considerable extent by the natives, and no fewer than 15,000 copies, and portions of the Scriptures, and other books, were furnished, and upwards of six thousand of them put in circulation.
Among the useful arts and other elements of civilization introduced by the missionaries, not the least admirable one to the Malagasy was the horse. In consequence of the great care and kindness which the people bestowed upon the two horses that had been presented to the King, the animals began to suffer from being overfed on rice. It required all Mr. Hastie's skill to restore them to health; and when they were again in a condition to be used, the King asked to mount one of them. As soon as he was in the saddle he put a charm in his mouth in order to protect him against the dangers of his novel situation. This fear, however, soon abated, and nothing could exceed the joy and satisfaction that he evinced at having accomplished the feat of riding around the court-yard. He laughed loudly.