A SKETCH OF
them, and nearly as many more bearers, and 12,000 men were kept a day’s journey in advance, to repair the roads and make them wider. The inhabitants of the villages through which the Queen passed were forced to furnish a number of men to go forward and prepare the night’s lodging for the royal family, which had to be surrounded with intrenchments against possible attacks from enemies. As she made no provision except for her own support, all her followers, under the most disadvantageous circumstances, were obliged to provide for themselves. This was an exceedingly difficult task to perform, for even the majority of the nobles had to suffer the greatest privations; for, wherever a little rice was left, it was sold at such a high price that only the richest were able to purchase it. In consequence, it is supposed that during the four months of the progress 10,000 persons, including women and children, died from starvation.
Previous to this, in 1837, the Queen, having received a report from her ministers that there were many magicians, thieves, violators of graves, and other evil-doers among the people, convened a Kabary on the occasion, and proclaimed that all who delivered themselves up should have their lives spared to them, but all who failed should suffer the punishment of death. Nearly sixteen hundred men gave themselves up accordingly. Of these, ninety-six were denounced; and of these, fourteen were burnt alive, some were thrown from the rock, others were put into holes and had scalding water thrown upon them, others again were speared or poisoned, some were beheaded, and some few had their limbs cut off. But the most barbarous punishment of all was to sew up victims in sacks, with only their heads protruding, and thus leaving them to die and rot. Yet, in total disregard of the word given by the government, those who had been their own accusers, suffered a worse fate, if possible, than all the rest. Fastened together in gangs of four or five, with heavy irons around their necks and wrists, they were permitted to go free, only being watched by guards to see that their irons were not filed off. When one of the group died, his head was cut off in order to free him from the rest of the gang, leaving his irons to weigh upon the others, until finally the whole group perished.
It is needless, however, to dwell upon the practices of barbarism in the absence of Christianity. We give these darker shades of human nature merely to add another to the numer-