Page:Madagascar - Phelps - 1883.djvu/62

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distraction. Radama, however, soon revived, appeared better, and was put to rest. The Sikidy was then consulted, to ascertain who might enter the house, and approach his Majesty. The deviners declared that the Sikidy directed that none should enter but Mr. Jones, two other foreigners, and about twelve attendants, including the King's mother and three of his wives—the Sikidy evidently being shaped by the success already attained. The King continued to improve; and when the benefits resulting from bleeding Avere thus apparent, the people poured their benedictions on the missionary as heartily as they had before opposed him; and in order that the advantage might accrue to themselves also, they strongly solicited Mr. Jones to bleed them too, in anticipation of a fall, or other accident, which might render it necessary!

But at length, some years after this event, while the missionaries, aided by this strong-minded man, were in the full tide of successful effort, the King took sick and died. This melancholy event occurred on the 1st of August, 1828; and on the 3d of that month the official proclamation was made that the King “had gone to his fathers.

He was succeeded in the kingdom by Ranavalona, his senior wife, and an enemy to the missionaries and Christianity.

The reign of Radama constitutes an epoch in the history of Madagascar, too important ever to be lost sight of. Important as regards its alliance with Great Britain, the suppression of the slave-trade, the adoption of a general system of education, and the introduction of Christianity into the very heart of the country; while the subjugation of nearly the whole island, the formation of a large native army on the European model, the reduction of the language to considerable form and order, the establishment of a printing press at the capital, and the diffusion of numerous branches of art and science from enlightened countries, are events which give a marked character to that period, and to the history of the country, and of the sovereign under whose auspices they occurred.

In 1823 the King had visited Tamatavé with the expectation of meeting Sir Robert Farquhar there, but the Governor had already left on his way to England before the King's arrival. Proceeding to Foule Point he there had an interview Avith Captain Moorsom, of the British Man-of-War, Ariadne; who, in return, invited him on board his vessel. English officers were left on shore as hostages, for he had some trouble to satisfy his people about his safety, the French having spread the