Page:Madagascar - Phelps - 1883.djvu/66

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64

A SKETCH OF

troches,” but in Malagasy “volahevitra;” it consisted of five branches, to each of which a red stone, and a small piece of gold, resembling a bell, were attached. The end of the coral was fixed in a round mother-of-pearl shell, placed above the forehead. With this was connected a fine gold chain of native manufacture, which, after being wound several times around the coral, encircled the brow of the Queen, and passed from the forehead over the crown to the back of the head. The Queen wore three necklaces, the first of fine red coral; the second of red stone, ornamented wath gold; and the third of red carnelian. Besides these, she wore a scarf, adorned in a curious manner with carnelian stones, called vakantsilehiby. On each arm her Majesty wore three braclets, one of white crystal beads, called vakamiarana; one of oval pearls, ornamented with gold; and the other of fine coral. According to the custom of the country, she also wore anklets of colored glass or precious stones. A white picture, ornamented with gold, was suspended from each of her ear-rings; and on the third and fourth fingers of each hand, she wore rings of gold, ornamented with precious stones, having on the third finger of her right hand a massive gold ring, beautifully polished. Her upper dress was of purple silk, richly ornamented with gold lace, having round the wrists, and on the back, a row of gold buttons. Her lower dress was of white silk; her mantle, or robe, was of superfine scarlet cloth, ornamented similarly to her upper dress; her stockings were white silk, her shoes yellow morrocco, and her forehead was marked with white clay, (tanisave) called, when thus used, “joyful earth.” The other members of the royal family were dressed in the European manner.

Reports of an expedition being sent from France against Madagascar, reached the capital in the month of August, 1829, and in fact, six French ships, under the command of Commodore Gourbeyre, arrived in the roads of Tamatavé in the middle of October. Prince Corroller, the officer in command of the station, was taken completely by surprise; the vessels opened their fire on the battery, and in the space of a little more than a quarter of an hour the magazine was blown up, many of the houses were destroyed, great numbers of the people killed, and Corroller with his troops were obliged to retire to Hivondrona, where he remained with a small force, almost destitute of ammunition.

The French followed up the flight, and attacked the prince at