WHEN the Church of England sent her first four Missionaries to Madagascar, in 1864, the two supported by the Church Missionary Society were stationed by the Bishop of Mauritius at VOHIMARE, an important town on the north-east coast of Madagascar. In 1866 they abandoned this place, where the population had been lessened by emigration, and settled at Andevoranto, on the south-east coast. In 1869, one of the missionaries returned to Vohimare, and found that his previous labours had borne fruit; but ultimately sickness compelled him to leave; the place was again without an ordained teacher, and in 1874, the Church Missionary Society withdrew from Madagascar. Bishop Kestell-Cornish arrived at Tamatave in October of that year, and after setting in order the things that were wanting in that place, he proceeded to the capital, Antananarivo. He had reached Andevoranto, when he was overtaken by two native Christians, who had been sent by their brethren at VOHIMARE, nearly 500 miles away, with instructions "to find the Bishop wherever he might be," and ask for a resident Missionary. They had come to Tamatave just too late, and, nothing daunted, they pushed on still further. The Bishop pledged the Church of England to comply with their request, and he promised himself to visit them. The daily extending work which he has had to superintend and to consolidate at the capital and on the coast, made it impossible for him to leave until June, 1876, and then the Bishop determined to explore, with a view to future missionary work, the whole of the northern half of Madagascar; and the notes of his four months' tour are now presented to the reader. It was strictly a tour of exploration: in many parts which he visited, he was not only the first Englishman, but the first European who had ever been seen by the natives, for even Grandidier, who has been called the Livingstone of Madagascar, has not, it is believed, so thoroughly explored this part of the island. It must have been an agreeable surprise to the Bishop to meet at Sambava, the Rev. G. J. Woodward and his wife, who, with a young layman, Mr. Tacchi, had been sent out by the S.P.G. with a view to the work at Vohimare, and to establish them in that district before his tour was completed, rather than, as he expected would have been the case, to have represented the needs of the people in that region, and to wait until suitable labourers were found, and sent out from England.
The map which illustrates the journey is founded on one drawn by M. Grandidier (which will account for the names of bays and lakes being in French) and corrected by the Bishop.
JOURNAL OF A TOUR OF EXPLORATION IN THE NORTH OF MADAGASCAR.
BY THE RIGHT REV. BISHOP KESTELL-CORNISH & REV. R. T. BATCHELOR,
June 15--October 22, 1876.
Antsianaka, Betsimisaraka, Hova, Sakalava, or Antankara.--Different tribes of Malagache, of whom the Hova are dominant.
Fanompoana.--Labour rendered in lieu of taxes, and called "state service."
Filanzana--A chair on poles. The carriage of the country, in which all travelling is done.
Imerina.--The central district of the Island, which is considered sacred soil.
Lakampiara.--A large canoe.
Lamba.--The robe, generally white, worn by the Malagazy of either sex.
Maromita.--Bearers of the Filanzanas. Razana,--Ancestors.
Rova or Lafa.--Government post-houses provided for travellers.
Toaka or Tomba.--Rum.
June 15, 1876.--Left Antananarivo at noon; many of our friends setting us on our way. Arrived at Ambohitrabily, where we slept in the Rova. It was very cold.
June 16.--A bitterly cold morning; did not get away till 8.15. Struck off from the main road, going north, so as to reach Amboromfotsy; halted for breakfast at 11, at a small village on a branch of the Betsiboka river, where the dirt compelled us to pitch our tent. Still bitterly cold; both the bracing air and the scenery continually brought dear old Dartmoor to my mind. Hamilton Moor was there exactly; went on till 4, when at the request of our men we turned aside west to a town called Ambatopisaorana, where we slept. A courier followed us from the capital, and gave me an opportunity of writing.
June 17.--Up at 6, off at 7.15; walked on for an hour to get warm. Crossed the shoulder of the mountain Ambato-be-tompo, our instruments gave us 5,300 ft. at our highest point. Crossed also the river Isara-Sahatra; breakfast at a small village Amparibe. Reached an important town in the evening, the name of which is Ambohitrankady. The people here were very cordial, and put us in a fine, large, but very airy, house. This place is most beautifully situated, being in fact a terrace on the top of a hill 4,600 ft. high, looking on the fine mountain Ambohihna to the N.N.E. which is a sort of boundary of the Sakalava in that direction.
June 18.--Got away at 7.30, crossed the river Mananara in a very frail lakana (canoe). It took us an hour to accomplish this, and the process was most amusing--a long ride--crossed another branch of the same river which we were able to ford; did not arrive at Amboromfotsy till 12.15, tired and hungry. After we had refreshed ourselves we held service in the nice little (native) church, after which we taught the people some hymns, and then held a long kabary with the people, promised to do our best for them, but this is a very difficult place to work. We are now approaching the Sakalava boundary to the west, as a proof of which, when we first appeared in the distance the people at Amboromfotsy took us for a party of marauding Sakalava.
June 19.--Got away at 8; followed a zig-zag course, E., N., W., N.E.; uncertain about our route, but met a native, the most genuine savage I have yet seen, who directed us. The people ran away from us when they saw us coming. Crossed a beautiful ridge 5,300 ft. high, and arrived for breakfast at a very dirty village called Mahatsara; pitched our tent, which was soon half filled with very dirty and very scantily clothed women, who wanted to be taught hymns, but lacked the necessary patience. There is a Hovah "church" here, but no teacher. I saw some rings on the fingers of the women, which made me suppose that they were married, but on inquiry we found they were all slaves, and that promiscuous concubinage was their rule. Left at 2, passing along the backbone of this district, the sources of the rivers were beneath us east and west, but I suspect they all find their way into the Betsiboka, though possibly those which flow to the east may join the Mahanoro. There is an important town named Betatao, to the south-west of Mahatsara. After crossing a fine hill we descended upon Androba, the northern limit of the Menakely of Ambohitrankady--a very dirty place, where we slept in an unfinished house.
June 20.--A very raw misty morning; got away at 7.30; saw a partridge (isipoy) and a quail (papelika); went through the forest which was very beautiful, but, as usual, apparently totally devoid of life. Through this forest (which is identical with that of Ankerimadinika, the eastern boundary of the great central plateau), we descended upon the plain of Tankay. The atmosphere became here sensibly warmer and I discarded my plaid. Crossed the river Maranibato, which flows into the lake Alaotra, and got to the first village of the Bezano-zano which is called Ambakiloha. Here we heard alarming reports of the small-pox in the neighbourhood of Ambatondrazaka. Got away at 2; a very close afternoon, which compelled me to banish my "Cardigan" went on till 4.15, when we arrived at a Tankay village called Analaroamaso, consisting of some fifteen houses, "one dirtier than another." Got into an unfinished and unoccupied house (which the people told us, with a grin, was the trano fiangonana) both of us rather tired, but a wash and dinner restored us. We are now 3,850 ft. above the sea.
June 21.--Off at 7.30; a detour necessary, to avoid the small-pox; worked eastward over cross roads, which were very bad for the feet of our bearers. Got to a very small village of five houses at 11. The people were very kind to us. Batchelor's boy Obela conducted a most amusing bargain for some sugar-cane. This place is called Antaimby. Off at 1.15, working north-east with a guide, when we came to a small village, the men waited for a change of guides and we took our guns and walked on--got some quail. Crossed the river Ambakireny and the hill Marivombona, 4,100 ft. Saw partridges--arrived at Andranokoboka, a town in the Menakely of Ambohitrabily belonging to Rajao Karivony, consisting of about five houses. all so dirty that we pitched our tent.
June 22.--Our route lay over undulating hills--road good. Crossed the river Ranofotsy, a curious sand-laden stream which must be very dangerous in the rainy season. It is the boundary between the Bezano-zano and the Antsianaka. After crossing this river we entered upon an entirely different country, which was apparently very rich, with abundance of large rice-producing swamps; got to a large village, Mangatana, for breakfast--put up at the Lafa, where we were soon the centre of an admiring crowd. This Menakely belongs to Andriantahiry, who is the adopted son of Rasoherina, the late queen, and it was administered, during his minority, by Rainizanoa. They brought us a child to doctor, but we were forced to decline. Walked on for some three miles, and then on over beautiful hills till, at five, we reached a small village on the edge of a swamp, called Andranomaria; pitched our tent on the edge of a swamp.
June 23.--Crossed the swamp, which was about two miles broad, and got into Ambatondrazaha in about three hours, arriving at 10. This town is about the size of Andevoranto (in 1875) but more compact. It stands on a slightly rising ground and is surrounded by rice-fields, which in the hot season must almost convert it into an island. It is evidently below the average of such towns, and this is due to the facility with which the people procure the necessaries of life. They just scratch the ground, throw in the rice, turn in their oxen and reap their harvest. Therefore they are more than commonly idle, and, as the natural consequence, more than commonly vicious. Mr. Pearse the L.M.S. Missionary, whose acquaintance we made last year at Fenoarivo, soon found us out, and gave us his school-room as sleeping quarters, insisting on our taking our meals with him, which we consented to do with the full purpose of leaving the town on the following day, but (Saturday, June 24) the Maromita rebelled and would not go, so we wished them good-bye and resigned ourselves.
Monday, June 26.--To our great delight the men reassembled and we got off at 9, reaching Ambohimanga for breakfast. Saw a great number and considerable variety of birds which were very wild. Got to Andriba, a very wretched village on the Lake Alaotra. The larger village was about two miles inland. Pitched our tent. We saw here, for the first time, the native mosquito curtain, which shows what a plague they must be here. A very good fish called fony, and the small duck called tabia, formed our dinner.
The next day, June 27, we continued our course along the Lake Alaotra. The birds were a continual source of amusement and excitement to us. We saw a magnificent white heron, and one of our men shot some birds. We passed by Ambatomanga and Ambohitava and breakfasted at Andranomena, a much cleaner place than our last halting-place. The people were not so degraded, though when B. asked them how they spent their time, they replied, "Well, we get drunk every day!" The master and mistress of the house were good specimens of their class. The woman was nicely dressed and had a silver chain with a dollar, and many coins and medals attached to it. After breakfast we turned off the lake to the north-east, and passing by a fine town, Sarovonenana, we arrived at Maherimandroso at 3.30. There is a Monday market in this town. It stands on a hill, and the view as you look back over the lake is very fine.
June 28.--The next day we made but a short journey to the ferry Andromba, where we crossed the river Maningoury, which is the great vent of the lake. We spent some time in duck-shooting, then had our breakfast and then went out again till 3. There were four varieties of duck and a wild goose called arosy. I killed two of these and got one; it is a magnificent bird with a white breast and back and wings a blue-black shot with green. The birds were very numerous and almost too tame; left Andriba Faharoa and got to Ambohitrevo just before dark. Here for the first time we found the mosquitoes troublesome out of doors in daylight. This is a large village much given to toaka. The people brought us no presents, but we received an intimation that if we had done as De L. did and given them toaka they would have brought us all manner of presents. One of the women who came to talk said that the Antsianaka had no souls, that they were just put into a bag and fastened up. John, our cook, who likes from time to time to come and have a gossip, told us this evening that there are professional men-stealers to be found, who will engage a man to convey entana for them, and when they have got him away they bind him and sell him. We heard of a worse case than this; a man married a girl, and when he got tired of her he changed his abode and sold her as a slave.
June 29.--Got away, attended by a large company of mosquitoes. We began to ascend from the level of the lake to the natural average level of the Tankay plain; we had risen nearly 1,000 ft. in two hours. The views of the lake as we looked back were very lovely. The highest point is called Efa Noizamfony because there all hope is lost of entering the Fony: this is 4,200 ft. Breakfast in the wild, reaching Amfalistrinyvola, a small wretched village, at 5. This was a hard day; pitched our tent.
Friday, June 30.--A cold morning, but soon found that I had fever. The cold fit was over before we got to Ambatobe. The people in this place, which is on the edge of the wilderness, seemed to be nice simple folk. The old lady in whose house we put up had evidently something in her house which she would not trust out of her sight, and she positively refused to turn out. We had rather an angry kabary, for the old lady being very much afraid we should rob her, adopted the tactics of pretending to be very angry at our being afraid of her. To show her that this was not the case we told her that the Vazaha were in the habit of bathing every day, and that we liked to do this in private. The old lady pointed to her mosquito curtain, and assured us that it would be all right, for that she would stay inside that till we had finished. Two slaves also slept in the room. In this place our men provided themselves with food for the wilderness.
On Saturday, July 1, we left the inhabited country and commenced our journey through the wilderness. Got off at 7.15 and went on for four hours; brought up at a beautiful spot for breakfast, where I managed to kill a brace of partridges. Our route lay for some time over very high ground, but we soon inclined to the east and got on to an undulating plain, which is the continuation of the great plain of Tankay, and follows the eastern escarpment of the great central plateau of Madagascar. After we came to the resting-place for the night we took a walk. The grass was in some places more than ten feet high. When we came back to camp, the men reported partridges, so I went out and got another. Our tent was not very comfortable. The men were not careful to pitch it on even ground.
July 2.--Went on four hours to-day, and halted for breakfast in another most lovely spot. In the afternoon rain came on, and when we arrived at our resting-place we were wet and wretched. We pitched our tent but the rain came through; poor Batchelor was very wet, and not only so but all his clothes had suffered more or less, so he had nothing dry to put on. This has been the first really trying day. Our route had lain through beautiful country, in which everything seemed to give the idea of the most perfect cultivation. It was impossible to resist the delusion that the mansion must be near, or the sort of dreamy surprise that there were no park palings; there was with all this the same wonderful absence of life. We are still at an altitude of 4,000 ft. Iron very abundant.
July 4.--In spite of the wretchedness of last night we both slept fairly well. We had made the mistake of pitching our tent near some trees which gave us no shelter and a running fire of drops. I was awakened by an unusual volley of these drops in the middle of the night and went out. The scene of the tent fires in the moonlight was most picturesque. We got off again to-day in drenching rain, which made the roads very slippery and difficult, but at 1 2 the sun came out a little and cheered us with its warmth, for the prospect of living continually in wet clothes had become rather depressing. Stopped for breakfast in another lovely spot where there was a little more life. We saw a partridge, two wild doves (domohina), and the large hawk (fahiaka); went on again till it was nearly dark, and crossed the river which runs to Ivongo, and which they call here Fandrarazana (this river disembogues to the north of Point Larée). Lit a large fire outside our tent and dried our things; here we fraternised with an old Sakalava Tsymandoa, whose tent adjoined our own. [One who pays for nothing on his journey, being a Government "runner."] We slept well, but both of us felt the miasma in the morning.
July 5.--This morning a hen partridge came to our tent; it was quite tame and we fed it with rice, and made it welcome; our route to-day was through forest; we saw new forms of ferns and orchids. Batchelor saw a flock of gidro or lemurs, I only heard them. Made our last halt in the wilderness for breakfast. Saw some quail, and heard akanga, heard also a peculiar noise which I believe to have been a wild boar whetting his tusks. [Apropos of wild boars, one of the Maromita told us a curious story of a fight between a wild boar and a crocodile. The boar was approaching some shallow water, and the crocodile drew near to seize him. The boar saw the crocodile, and accepted the battle, which was very furious. The boar ripped the stomach of the crocodile, but the latter succeeded in dragging him to deep water and drowning him. The dead bodies of both came to the surface and were secured by the natives, who preserved their heads.] After breakfast we crossed a ridge--a spur from the Ambiniviny range, from which we looked far away over the Sakalava country. It was a complete change of scenery, at once most beautiful and most refreshing. To the N.W. the Ambiniviny came to an abrupt ending, throwing out a most magnificent spur which looked like a lion bidding defiance to the Sakalava. and then bearing away to the W.N.W. This is quite one of the finest bits I have seen so far in the land. We went on about two miles beyond, and arrived at a Hovah fort called Maharitradrano on the river Amboaboa. Saw the bird which I have called a cormorant, but which seems to be the Vadimboay. ["Crocodile's wife," because he is not afraid of the crocodile and waits on him, probably feeding on some parasite.] We took up our abode in a tidy house, and when we had refreshed ourselves strolled down to the river, which is rapid and rocky; found a new water-plant called in Sakalava, Rondra, in Hovah, Tsilavandriana. Got back and had some talk with an old Sakalava, who is the Andriambaventy of the place. Presently we received a visit from the lieutenant-governor, with presents and excuses from the commander, who was sick. We were in a difficulty again. This evening the lady of the house would not leave, so we just had to put up with her presence.
June 6.--Batchelor took to the river for his bath; I was too lazy. We made a late start, for just as we were moving the commander sent for us and we had to go up and pay our respects before we started. We made a short run to breakfast, for Boto, Batchelor's pet boy, knocked up and had to be carried. Got our breakfast in a lovely spot again by the river side. This country bears distinct marks of volcanic action. The ground has been the scene of some grand convulsion, and the ranges of hills have the appearance of vast waves tipped with rocks. The mango trees were just coming into bloom here. The rivers seemed to run west, therefore we must, yesterday, have crossed a watershed, since the rivers of which I spoke appeared to rise in swamps, and run eastwards. [From lack of scientific observation it is almost impossible to define accurately our position. The Ambiniviny range ran yesterday almost due north, forming the western boundary of our route. Before we got out of the forest we crossed some very high ground, which I believe to have been a spur of this range thrown out to the west. The bend of these mountains to the N. N. W. makes a gap in the central plateau, through which we passed to Makaritradrano. This tallies with Grandidier's corrected map, and if I am correct, this spur must form the watershed.] We found it growing very hot, but it was cloudy, with a nice breeze. We followed the valley, which grew more and more beautiful, for some miles (the grass was in some places quite 15 ft. high), and then began to ascend a mountain-pass, bearing a little to the east. At the top of this pass we came to a magnificent view; a vast plain lay stretched out before us, bordered by fine, well-wooded hills, and terminated in the blue distance by a group of splendid mountains. I do not think I have ever seen finer scenery of the kind. Our men to-day rushed eagerly to the first tamarind tree (madilo) which we have seen. At the top of the pass we met a party of Arabs going up to the capital, and had some talk with them about our route, &c. Descended into the plain, which was all the more beautiful because the trees were beginning to put forth their spring foliage; there were some very fine ones which the natives called Rota. Got to a small Sakalava village, named Amparay. Here for the first time we saw the men engaged in making the native toaka, here we saw for the first time the Sakalava pigeons'-cote, which seems to be a regular institution among them. [I do not think it is fair to attribute all the drunkenness of the Malagasy to the Vazaha. Wherever you find the sugar-cane you are sure to find that men know how to make intoxicating drink. The native toaka is very like the spirit which the Devonians distil from the apple dregs and call "grammer's pins."] There was no house fit for us; pitched tent, and dined off the goose which the commander gave us at Maharitradrano. It was, I should think, as old as its donor--a fine bird but very tough. Poor B. succumbed, but I persevered. Mosquitoes very troublesome.
July 7.--An early start. Arrived at Mandritsara at 10. Crossed the river Mangarakaraka, and waited for the return of our messenger, sent to announce our arrival to the governor. [The Mangarakaraka rises in a very lofty range of mountains about 2 1/2 days ( = 50 miles) N. E. of Mandritsara. This range is called Mafaitantely. The Soufia also rises in the same range. These two rivers unite at the foot of Maranibato, which is the end of the Ambiniviny range about four miles west of Mandritsara. The Mairarano rises in the same range, and also the Tingumbala, which runs into Antongil bay.] We had just settled into a house when the commander and suite arrived. We went with them to the Rova and paid the visit of ceremony, and then went to the place which was allotted to us, a new brick house just built by an old Sakalava chief now Andriambaventy. We were the objects of very great curiosity. I suppose the people had rarely seen a white man before. They evidently thought from the amount of luggage which we had that we must be merchants, and were eager to buy or to get everything that we possessed. Made up our minds to pay oft our men and try to get a fresh team. Got some interesting notes of our route to Amorontsanga from a Sakalava who had travelled with Campbell. Then arrived a deputation with a bullock, a turkey, some fowls, and a bag of rice. Took a walk up the town, and saw our old Sakalava fellow-traveller, who greeted us very cordially.
Friday, July 7.--Breakfast late; our men were gorged with beef. Got a sketch and wrote letters. Luncheon. Letters. Prepared for our dinner at the Rova. This was, without exception, the roughest entertainment which I ever had the misery of undergoing. After it was over the commander conducted us home. B. and I took a walk to see the moon rise. On our return the servants came in for prayers; then our Sakalava friend came to see us, and had a most interesting conversation with B. It seems that our host was king of a large tract of land extending from the wilderness to the Soufia, his tribe is called Isimahety. They have never been conquered, but entered into treaty with the Hovah. This man has the privilege of even awaking the sovereign for an audience, so that the Hovah commander stands in wholesome dread of him.
July 8.--Did some drawing while B. held kabary with the men. After breakfast sent for the Mpitandrina of the Hovah church, who came with a considerable following. More work with the men, paid off all but fifteen. The church brought us presents. Then came our Sakalava friend, Iadana, and gave us much interesting geographical information; he is a most intelligent man and. I wish much he were going with us. Just as I was writing this we heard a great uproar, and that terrible cry which indicates that the Malagasy have some prey on foot. We ran out, and found two Makoa men fighting; presently one ran off", followed by a blood-thirsty rabble who declared that he was a thief. It seems that there had been some quarrel, and that the disappointed suitor in his rage snatched at the woman's lamba and ran off with it, probably not with intent to steal it. Be that as it may, he was hounded down and eventually his body was brought to our room--but he was only half dead, as well as half drunk, and we soon brought him to life again.
Sunday, July 9.--Held service here, Batchelor preaching to a large congregation. The people urged us very much to stay, and it is manifest that we might do as we would by them, though they are affiliated by letter with Ambatondrazaka. Went home with the commander and paid our respects, and were escorted back to our house by his suite. But there was no rest. First came ladana, and then a dear old lady and her flock to learn hymns. Taught them one. This is a most interesting place. I have never met with more encouragement anywhere, and from the fact that the old king of the Isimahety is here it is a most important place. It must be affiliated to Vohimare, since we heard afterwards there is a direct road about to be opened out to Isoaran Andriana.
Monday, July 10.--Arranged our luggage. The girls came for a final practice. General confusion and difficulty with the men; at last we arranged to give them $3 to Amorontsanga, upon which sore feet etc. disappeared like magic, and we started with all our old team. Wished good-bye and got away. Route N.N.W and N.W. After passing the foot of the volcano Be Molaka we wound up a mountain pass quite Swiss in character, with a fine rocky torrent rushing down. Saw two beautiful flowering shrubs, one carmine, something like a fuchsia. After we got to the head of the pass we descended into another plain; saw a flock of wild Guinea fowl (akanga). Breakfast at Putsapatsa, where we found one of the great men of Mandritsara, who had come to visit his sick wife. Continued our course N.W. across the plain; men tried to stop in a small village at 4, but I got them to go on till 5.30, when we found ourselves at the foot of Ambohimalaza, a grand flat-topped mountain, evidently an old volcano. The eastern side facing us was a sheer precipice of at least 1,000 feet; saw a great number of the large bat which is called the Fanihy, sometimes the flying fox. Saw also the wild goose, &c.
July 11.--Continued our route, crossed the Ambohimalaza range by a pass. The route was very lovely, similar in character to the one I have described after leaving Mandritsara, but who shall describe the view from the summit? We looked right away north-west till we lost ourselves in the maze of mountain, and plain, and river; we thought we saw the Mozambique, but I could not be quite positive of this. The forms of the mountains were very beautiful; descended the mountain side in a storm of wind and rain. (N.B.) This is the western escarpment of the great central plateau. The country was well wooded and well watered, but the same absence of life prevailed till we got to the lakes and the plain. Here we found immediately wild fowl of all sorts, in fact, almost all the birds which we saw at Lac Alaotra. We stopped for breakfast at Salohy, where letters from the capital overtook us, which were a great refreshment. On to Amoron-Soufia, a lovely spot, situated, as it name indicates, on the banks of the river. Pitched our tent. Letters. Mosquitoes and toothache kept sleep from me.
July 12.--Despatched letters. Started across the river which is about half-a-mile broad, but very shallow. The men begged me to take off my hat. They have a pantheistic idea that Zanahary, the Deity, dwells in the grand features of nature. I complied, and when we had crossed I thanked God for bringing us safely across, which seemed to afford them much satisfaction. On through well-wooded country, but by a very difficult route. We had evidently missed our road to a village called Ambohimitrinza, working W.N.W. for nine hours. Batchelor did not follow me; got breakfast and waited till 4 p.m., when on consulting John he casually remarked that there was another road to the east. I was in my filanzana directly in the vain hope of reaching Befandriana that night, but we went on till it was dark and then were fain to put up at a small town called Marolampy. Teeth troublesome all day, but poor B. has no bed and no creature comforts; I am very sorry for him. Toothache and mosquitoes again. Up at cock-crow.
July 13.--Got away as soon as we could see; went on through two or three small villages, one of which seemed to be en fÍte. We heard that there had been a wedding there that morning. Arrived at Befandriana at 10. Alas! no Batchelor! despatched a messenger in search of him. The town seemed to be rather in an excited state. I was put with all my luggage into the house of the Andriambaventy, who was busily engaged in selling rum to the natives. I was presently summoned to see the arrival of a large party of Sakalava, who had come on a fanompoana to repair the river. It was a most striking and interesting sight. These men looked very wild; they had been called out from the remote parts of their district; they are all of the tribe Behisotra. We were told that it is the intention of the government to make this a large town. Of course the house was soon crowded as successive visitors came to stare at the Vazaha and examine his luggage. Got a sketch of the kabary which they held. Breakfast; after which to my great delight Batchelor arrived. He had missed his way, misled by the sound of a shot which he thought must have been mine. Much kabary, &c. We were most respectfully treated by the commander. The district of these Behisotra extends from the Soufia to the Maivarano, and as the place was so full it appeared to us at first that we ought to spend Sunday among them, which they pressed us very much to do. Batchelor soon had his hands full, the ladies being very anxious to learn to write.
July 14.--A bad night from toothache, and a slight attack of dysentery. Took rather a long stroll to a pool, where we saw many wild fowl. Got back to breakfast, after which I rested while Batchelor talked to the people, and taught them a hymn-tune.
After dinner we had more singing, but rum-drinking was going on to a frightful extent, and we became aware we ought not to be in a house where there were so many people. I had to turn one man who was behaving ill, bodily out, and we had almost to compel the others to go. The women warned us that we were in danger. These Sakalava are a wild, lawless race, very handy with their spears, and the Hovah have no real authority over them; but they, on the other hand, have no nationality in them, and therefore never can be more than a tribe, and will inevitably die out before civilization in whatever form it may come to them. As it is, rum is doing its fatal work. Their religion seems to be belief in Zanahary--the Supreme Being, to whom they make vows and offer sacrifices. He dwells, they say, on the mountain tops, and in the forests, and rivers, and with Him they reverence and offer prayers to the souls of their Razana. I believe the people would receive a Vazaha well if he had the tact requisite for their management, but they are very wild and fully armed. The women are not so good-looking as the men, but some of them are pleasing in appearance. They wear abundance of silver chains and dollars, and other coins as necklaces.
July 15.--We had but little sleep. The people seemed to be all drunk, and our own men were especially noisy and troublesome. B. had to turn out twice to disperse them, moreover, there was a man in our house who kept up a lively conversation all night. Taking all things into account, we made up our minds not to remain. We, therefore, paid a visit to the commander, who presented us with a dollar, and came to see us off. We had a row at starting, which I left Batchelor to quell. Started with a guide, and went on for three hours, stopping for breakfast at a small village named Maromandia, where we made acquaintance with an old man, a Betsimisaraka, who is a relation of the commander at Befandriana. It would seem that the Betsimisaraka impinge upon the Sakalava and mix with them in this district. Followed a N.N.W. course over a well-wooded undulating plain, bounded on either side by mountains, those to the east evidently volcanic. Saw many parrots. Got to a small group of huts, where we pitched our tent and rested, thankful to be safely out of the den of iniquity which we had left behind us at Befandriana.
July 16.--Continued our course with some uncertainty; came to a pond where I saw my first crocodiles, but not very near; saw also a very beautiful bird which I think must be a variety of the Tactso. They called it Tako daro, it was dove-coloured and blue, with beautiful bird's-eye marks on the tail. Saw also the bird which they call Mananhara, also Vadimpory, perched on a tree which indicates that it is not web-footed. Got our breakfast in the wild; general course N.W. Stopped at 4.15, on the bank of a stream, and pitched our tent.
July 17.--A very hot morning, but at 9 a fine breeze sprang up, which made it more endurable. Went on over a plain, up and down small hills, and stopped for breakfast on the banks of a rocky stream with plenty of shade: a most enchanting scene, which was enlivened by the arrival of a large party from Amorontsanga, who were bringing up the bones of the governor who died there last year. It was very hot this afternoon. Went on till 3.30, when we made our halt on the banks of a well-wooded rocky river named Aronda, which reminded me very much of the Tees at Rokeby. It wears its rapid way through rocks of gneiss, and is very sparkling and beautiful, with fine overhanging trees and steep banks on either side. Batchelor says that he saw the sea to-day. We shall, I hope, be on its shores the day after to-morrow. We crossed the river Atsingo, a fine rushing stream, with a rocky bed, which, in the rainy season, cannot be crossed, either by fording or by lakana; in fact, this route must be perfectly impracticable, except during the dry season.
July 18.--Made more westing to-day to fetch the base of some hills which we had to circumvent. Went through some fine forest; missed our way, and eventually stopped for breakfast at a village in the district of Betainomby; found that it was occupied by a Betsimisaraka, a slave of Rainimaharavo, who had the charge of his cattle in this district. Missed our way again; it is most difficult to keep the track the bullock paths are so numerous, and so much trodden. Mounted a hill and went along the ridge for some distance, at length descended into the plain which we followed for some time, and eventually mounted another hill which brought us to Maivarano. The mosquitoes were very bad here. I have now been travelling for two days without an umbrella, and am thankful to say I am none the worse. This is the worst night I have had; sleep was quite impossible.
July 19.--Got down early to the river; a fine, wide, meandering stream. Saw again the very fine white bird called Voron'osy, which I saw first on crossing the Aronda. The timber on the banks of this river is the finest I have as yet seen in Madagascar. Got on to breakfast in a small Betsimisaraka village. It was intensely hot this afternoon. I saw in this place a child playing with a bow and arrows, which was rather curious, since, so far as I have observed or heard, the use of these weapons is unknown in this country. It was just such a bow as a boy would make in England. I got rather a severe fall from my filanzana to-day, and this afternoon it was impossible to keep awake, Halted for that day at another small Betsimisaraka village in which, however, there were many Sakalava. Two young Sakalava came and talked to us for some time. They said that their tribe was subject to the Hovah, and spoke of their Fanompoana, or state service, without the usual expressions of dislike. They gave us the name of their tribe Tandrona, and told us that north of Amorontsanga we should find the Antankara.
They said that there was sandal wood in their forests, which was not used for merchandise but by themselves for scent. They were delighted at a present of a box of matches, and immediately got a piece of sugar cane and broke it in half, giving us one piece to eat in token of friendship. They told us that the Fossa was plentiful in the forest, and that they ate its flesh; that it was fierce and would sometimes attack men. They were very amusing and very curious. They were quite delighted when we showed them some white sugar and made them taste it, and carried off some to eat with their rice.
July 20.--Our route lay over the same beautifully wooded country, and at last we caught a real view of the Mozambique Channel, which was a feast for sore eyes. Got to a village named Ankerina for breakfast. This was a great sugar and toaka place. The people were all more or less tipsy. Followed the course of the river Malaza for some time; at our last crossing the water was over the men's hips. Ascended the hill to the town Andrano Malaza, where we determined to sleep. The tide soon came up, and we went down and inspected an Arab dhow which had just come in with a cargo of spirit to fetch rice. Tried to get a cast to Amorontsanga in her tomorrow, but it could not be arranged. We had a nice talk with a Hovah, who came to see us and who is living here. He told us a good deal about Amorontsanga. Curiously enough, one of our bearers, a Makoa or Mozambique slave, found to-day at Ankerina some of his own people, not persons whom he had known but who turned out to have been brought over from his tribe in Africa. Of course they were slaves. This led to some talk about the condition of these people. It seems that among the Makoa they have no domestic slavery, but when they go to war the captives are sold to the Arabs generally; but if one of the captors takes a prisoner to his own house it not unfrequently happens that he marries the daughter. We calculated that two-thirds of the population of this district were Africans. There are here Betsimisaraka, Antsianaka, and Sakalava living together, with the ubiquitous Hovah in full force. I should say that the Sakalava and the Arab are the chief traffickers in the slave trade. Batchelor overheard a Makoa describing an elephant to his companions. He said that it was so big that eight men could lie down on one of its ears. We are also told that a horse 7 fathoms (42 feet long) had been brought over by the Arabs and was now at Nosibé.
July 21.--Started on foot this morning and walked on for an hour, and soon came in sight of the bay. There were several islands. The sea was perfectly calm, and it was intensely hot. There are many lagoons running up from the sea, which form perfect lurking places for pirates or slavers. Saw some beautiful flowering shrubs. Went on till four and rested at Ambaliha, where we found a tidy Hovah church, which is affiliated by letter to Ambatondrazaka. This district seems to be in the hands of a slave of Rainimaharavo, who ran away and was not heard of for many years, during which time he contrived to amass considerable wealth. The native catechist, who came to see us, seems a very good man.
Sleeping Quarters at Amorontsanga
July 22.--To-day we hope to arrive at Amorontsanga. The first part of our route lay up a very steep ascent, and was very beautiful. Saw the Righi Spectre. My filanzana broke down, and I had to walk a good deal. When we got to the top of the hill we had splendid views of the sea; saw again the Takodaro; got to Bezavona to breakfast, where we found the Betsimisaraka element predominating. The people here were very suspicious, and wanted to stop us, but we were firm and they gave way. Arrived at Amorontsanga very tired. It is a strange place, full of bastard Arabs and men from Kutch, near Bombay. The Arab dress distinctly predominates. A man, who had rascal strongly written on his face, took us under his protection and brought us to his brother's house. Such a place! The house was built of stone, there were no windows and no ventilation; it was like going into a foul oven. Sleep in such a place was quite impossible, so I swung my hammock in the verandah, and Batchelor put his stretcher on the other side, and so we managed to get a delicious night's rest.
July 23.--This being Sunday we got our bearers together and started for the battery, which is on the top of a hill about two miles inland. The governor, Rainimiraony, seemed to be a good, kind man; his son Festus had been a pupil of Mr. Richardson's at the capital. Had service with them; Batchelor preached and I gave the blessing. The singing was not so tedious as usual. After prayer we had coffee, eggs, and conversation in the governor's verandah, where the breeze was delicious. In the afternoon we went to the "church" in the lower town. The congregation was not large, but outside were a large number of Mohammedans, who came to hear what we had to say. The Arabs are virtually masters of the coast. Their policy is very subtle. Outwardly they cringe to the Hovah, but in their hearts they dislike them. Their motto is "The husband of my mother is my father," which simply means, I acquiesce in the government of the land in which my lot is cast. They are on the best terms with the Sakalava. They dislike the French and fear the English. Ali Mahomet Sambarava volunteered the statement that only bad Arabs were slavers, that he and such as he (!) did their best to put it down. An Arab will not marry one of a different religion unless she be a queen or an heiress, nor will an Arab woman marry one of a different creed, probably with the same exceptions in favour of wealth and rank. They abstain from wine, &c., professedly, but the captain of our dhow enjoyed it much. By profession they have only one wife, but Breda had three. When we told him how wrong it was, according to his creed, to have more than one wife, he put on the most absurdly penitent face and said, "Oh, I know it, and I pray earnestly to Mohammed that I may resist the temptation of taking a fourth." Abdullah, the mate, was a higher stamp of man altogether, a fine, handsome man of the true Caucasian type. The Arabs are just as free with the Sakalava as they are with the Hovah, and use both with characteristic cunning as it suits their purpose, playing them off one against the other. Went to see the Mpitandrina, who was sick. The people escorted us home. Took a walk with Sambarava to a very fine cocoa-nut grove, in which the shade was perfect. The light of the setting sun was most gorgeous, I have never seen such colouring in nature before. This is a most remarkable place, quite as important as Tamatave, but with this difference, that here you have no Europeans. The Arabs and Kutch men are the traders. There are also many Suahili from Zanzibar. There is also a large number of Mozambiques, and there can be no doubt it is a great centre of the slave trade; no large vessel can come in. The bay has many islands, which afford every facility for the traffic. The Arab dhow is built for swift sailing, combined with the maximum of accommodation, broad in the stern and very sharp in the bow. It seems passing strange that we should only by chance have heard of this place, and yet I have seen none of greater interest, nor one in which there is a finer field for a missionary. There are here two mosques and six imams. The people crave a teacher. We were told of another town, Ambohimadilo, opposite Nosibé almost as large. Our friend, Sambarava, is a rare specimen; his mother was an Arab, his father a Comoro man--happy combination! He has a smattering of many tongues, is, I opine, a fair specimen of the bastard Arab, who acts as interpreter to our cruisers. The bays on this coast are very shallow, and I suspect are filling up rapidly. The rivers bring down their volume of silt without any hindrance, and the honko tree, which seems to rejoice in the brackish water, helps the process. [Identical with the mangrove.] This tree is propagated in a curious way, it throws off young plants much in the same sort of way as the asplenium bulbiferum. The bulb or nodule is weighted so as to make it fall straight, and the young tree starts at once. The tree is small, but the wood is extremely hard, and the bark affords a valuable orange dye. There seem to be a great many Sakalava women in this place. Dismissed our maromita and engaged a dhow. Had a good deal of talk with the Arabs, and was confirmed in what I have always heard of them, that they are most unmitigated rascals; nevertheless I am bound to say they were very kind to us, and they never fail in politeness. Our host, Mohammed Ali, is a very pleasant and intelligent fellow.
Tuesday.--Got a most refreshing bathe. When we returned dressing was a difficulty, for our Arab friends came to greet us.
Wednesday, July 26.--Got a bathe. A visit from the governor announced; we gave him some wine, and then we walked about with him, and eventually sat down under a new dhow and devoured some akondro. Gave the commander a new knife, after which he made us sundry presents, gave me a dollar, and said Veloma; packed our entana, and went on board the dhow at sundown.
Thursday, July 27.--Got up and shook myself, washing impossible. John and Mark in the depths of woe. We had not made much progress during the night, but are now slipping along with a fine breeze from the south-east. The situation on board is amusing and interesting. Bow, the Arab boy, sits by my side chewing sugar-cane, in which interesting occupation he has succeeded in engaging me. Batchelor sits opposite, having just completed his journal, and tries to draw us. Our servants are asleep, poor victims, bewailing no doubt the day that induced them to venture on board. What I should have done if I had been as bad as I was yesterday I cannot say; happily I am all right. Rounded the point Antanghena at 10, course N.E.; opened a fine bay with three islands off the north headland; passed the river Kakamba, giving the name to the district, with a town of the same name at its mouth; sighted Nosibé at 10.15; rounded the point Kidronga at 11.30--in the bight of this bay is Ambavatovy, where coal is found, and more inland another large town called Amboahangy. The view of Nosibé, as we approached, was very fine. As we drew nearer the sugar plantations became visible, and the house of Messrs. Oswald and Co., the German merchants. The island called Kioba lies to the east of Nosibé, separated by a narrow strait; it is subject to a Sakalava king in alliance with the Hovah. The mountains on the mainland are very fine, one peak especially runs up into the clouds, and I should say was from 8,000 to 9,000 feet high. Landed at Nosibé at 4 o'clock and went to the house of Messrs. Gallard and Zumpff (Oswald and Co.), who received us very kindly; dined and slept there.
Friday, July 28.--Went across the bay to look for the Norwegian, Mr. Hankervinck; not finding him, went on to Helville, the French town. The scenery here is very beautiful. There are good roads and houses, and I actually saw a donkey-cart; but it is in truth a wretched place. Externally, Nosibé is a lovely spot, but it is extremely unhealthy. The people seem half asleep, and from 10.30 till 2 the shops are shut and all business suspended. The difficulty of labour is very great. The Jesuits have two fathers and several brothers and sisters here. This might be the centre of a strong R. C. Mission; but the French, as they make bad colonizers, make also, with all their self-devotion, indifferent missionaries. They do little outside Nosibé except through their school, and in the various islands, as well as on the mainland, the ground is free for us, and must be worked from the east coast. There is almost no trade, and the people complain that their country has forgotten them. Went to the Indian town to look for our friend, and not finding him, returned and found him waiting for us. He is a very nice, simple fellow, a trader, and is a missionary, i.e., in the sense of always trying to do good. He told us of a very great peril from which he had lately escaped: he was driven across the Mozambique in a canoe, with no provisions and no water, and was six days without food; at the end of that time he was dashed on shore and seized by the natives, who stripped him of everything but his trousers. He was quite starving, and seeing one of them with a yam begged for it. The man pointed to his trousers, and made him understand that he must buy his food with them: but Hankervinck said, "No; I know I must die, and I had rather die in my trousers."
July 29.--We had to make a fresh arrangement with the captain of the dhow, which was effected by our German friends telling him that if he gave us any more trouble his rudder would be unshipped and locked up in their store. One of the frères came over and I was introduced to him. He was a pleasant, simple man; he spoke only French. Got my filanzana mended partly by the German blacksmith, partly by an Arab. Watched the Sakalava bringing in the rubber. After dinner wished our friends good-bye, and got on board at 1.45. A fine breeze. Rattled away between the islands Kioba and Nosibé, passing Tafondro, where the old L.M.S. missionary, Johns, was buried. Got to Tafia Amboty, the principal town of Nosipaly, at 4.15; this is the residence of the Sakalava king, Isi Manoloka, who sent out a lakana for us. We found him seated on a log of wood on the beach with his chief people about him. He is a pleasant-looking young man, with a good expression of face, not as yet marred by toaka. He wore the Arab dress. He made us welcome and talked a great deal about Imerina, about religion, and about the slave trade. As to the latter, he did not seem to understand the action of England, but he seemed quite to take in Batchelor's argument that the position of the English made them the protectors of the weak, and that it was their duty as a nation to take care of the oppressed; and he allowed that it would make him very unhappy if his children, and his wife, and his friends were carried off and made slaves. He gave us a small, but clean and tidy, house, in which we were glad to seek repose. Batchelor was suffering from fever. This is a lovely spot, the formation of the land apparently converts the sea into a beautiful lake. The mainland is about a mile from the island. The sight of the setting sun on the mountains was most lovely. We watched a herd of cattle swimming across from their pasture on the mainland with their attendants. The fire-flies were very delightful, and the flying foxes seemed to abound. We have to remain here until the sea-breeze to-morrow. We got to sleep very tired, but were awakened at 1.30 A.M. by some loud talking outside our house, and before we quite knew where we were, our door was forced open and three Sakalava, fully armed, made their appearance and sat down near my bed. I put away my watch and knife, and struck a light. It was just one of those occasions when one could not tell what was coming. However, Batchelor talked to them and told them who we were, and that the king had given us the house. It seemed that the leader of the band was the tompo (master) of the house, and having returned unexpectedly from Nosibé, was naturally surprised to find it occupied. It was quite impossible to say what they might take it into their heads to do, and the scene was not a little curious. However (D.G.) they retired peaceably and left us to repose.
July 30.--The king brought us his child, who has a well-developed fifth finger hanging from the little finger of the right hand. Prayers. Got away at 1.45; a lovely sail across a large bay; got on a sandbank at 6 P.M.; floated off with the rising tide and got into the river, where we stuck again at 2 A.M. When it dawned we found ourselves in a very curious position. The river, about a quarter of a mile wide, bordered by forest; and ourselves high and dry. The men caught crabs and fish. Beautiful birds about, herons, the white ibis, and curlews.
July 31.--It was very chilly till the sun rose. After a painful waiting, put off at 10.30, fondly deeming that we were going straight to Ifasi; but alas, we went up the river till the trees stopped us, and finding we were wrong, backed out. This process we repeated three times, our pilot evidently knowing nothing of the route. It seemed very likely that we should have to pass another night in a most unwholesome atmosphere, and moreover, we had no food on board except rice; but we did our best to stir up the men, and happily they began to sing, very feebly at first but more strongly by degrees. Happily, we did not stick fast, and got safely to the mouth of the river; there we espied another mouth, in which there was a dhow, for which we made. The captain told us that the name of the river was Anton, that we were not right for Ifasi, which, except in the rainy season, or at the highest tides, cannot be reached by water; that we were close to a town called Anjiamangirana, and he sent his lakana to summon the king, who duly arrived and made us welcome. We slept on board, and in the morning (August 1) landed and made our way through the mangrove swamp to the town, which consists of a few houses in a clearing, surrounded on all sides by bush and mangrove, and perfectly concealed. The malaria is very strong here and the mosquitoes abominable. Batchelor with fever again. The people were very kind to us.
August 2.--Batchelor better (D.G.) Tried to get Mpilanza to take us to Ifasi; only got four, so Batchelor has to go alone, for which I am very sorry; but there is no help for it. He stood the journey better than I expected, it does not seem to have been more than about six miles. The people all seem to have been more or less drunk. The king held a kabary and read the letter from the Governor of Amorontsanga, and after some palaver, twenty-five men were promised for Friday at five dollars a man, at which rate our journey to Vohimare from here, which is about five days' work, will cost us more than the journey from Mandritsara to Amorontsanga. The king at Ifasi has been to Bourbon and speaks French fluently, another proof of the strength of French influence on the west coast north and east of Nosibé. Isimola, our king, came and chatted with us for some time, and told us all about M. Lambert and the French pseudo-treaty. The land which he wanted to get was around Ambavatovy, where there is coal, iron, and copper, and almost certainly gold. The Hovah will not allow a Vazaha boat to land there now. We watched to-day the process of baking pottery. I bought a water-bottle which a girl was shaping with her hands. They kindled a wood fire on the ground, and threw in a quantity of rice chaff, which gave it a fine black colour.
August 3.--We had a good deal of talk to-day with Isani, the Arab captain of the dhow, and decided to accept his offer to take us to Nosi Mitsiou, from which he told us we should have no difficulty at all in making our way to Antomboka; of this I am very glad. It will cost us less, and we shall have an opportunity of seeing thoroughly the northern part of the island. Got a sketch, and packed my boxes. Took a walk with Batchelor through the mangrove swamp, in which there was nothing especial to observe except the exceedingly luxurious quality of the soil and the abundance of salt which lay on the ground like hoar frost when the tide retired. Much amused at, the antics of a native, who imitated the various ways in which the different people fight. The mosquitoes were, if possible, worse than ever; when the tide began to flow, and the breeze came in with it, we heard a noise like the singing of a kettle, which increased till we were led to investigate what it could be, and we found that it arose from a swarm of these wretches, which had taken possession of our dwelling. I was fairly stopped from writing by them. We both feel that it is time we were out of this place; it is most unhealthy, and there is positively nothing to do, so far as one may say so, and nothing to see.
August 4.--This morning a lakampiara arrived from Nosi Mitsiou with a messenger from Ratsimiaro going to Ifasi. [So called from its having a raised platform in the middle, which lifts the sitters from the floor of the lakana.] This messenger was a fine old man, with white, closely-clipped hair, attended by several men, two of whom carried spears, and three muskets, the old Brown Bess, with the Tower mark--in beautiful order. I have seen none such among the Hovah. The lock of one which I handled was perfect, and the whole train would have done credit to an English soldier. We heard a good deal to-day of the old story about Radama II. being still alive; I suspect this is the cry got up by the Extreme Left at the capital. The lines of these lakampiara are very beautiful. Alas! we have to linger on here till the evening and sleep on board. Prepared our luggage, and got away before dark. As we went away I again examined the approach to the town. I can conceive nothing more easy than for a dhow to run a cargo into this river, and distribute it through Ifasi, and that this is constantly done I have no doubt. Made our beds on deck, and weighed anchor at 4 A.M., August 5. Light breeze from the east till 10, when it fell; dead calm till 12. We first saw the wind coming, and full half an hour before it came up we heard it. "Miresaka izy" (it talks) was the cry; it came from the north-east, so we had to go along close hauled. We anchored at Nosi Mitsiou at 2.30, but there was a heavy wash on. After some time, a lakana came out, having on board the eldest son of the king, Isialanana, and his brother, Mamba, two fine young men, the eldest rather of the "Buffalo" type. Their suite came with them, all fine, bold fellows. After hearing who we were, and greeting us very kindly, they returned to tell their father all about it. Nosi Mitsiou is an island of considerable size, very long and narrow. The king is allied to the Hovah, and pays a small poll-tax to them. The French commander often visits them and pays them thirty dollars per month. At one time there was a French priest or frère in residence; he has left but the children, who receive any education at all, are sent to Nosibé. It would therefore appear that there is a sort of provision for Christian teaching; but I must make this statement with reservation; we shall not get at the whole truth directly. We did not get on shore till near sundown, weary of waiting, and it was a service of some danger--there was a heavy wash on. I can quite understand, from the experience of to-day, how it came to pass that the Norwegians were blown across the Mozambique. I suppose that, just at this time, between the end of the south-east and the beginning of the north-east monsoons, the weather is generally more or less unsettled. Got a message that the king will receive us to-morrow; meanwhile, he provided us with a spacious apartment, with the unwonted luxuries of bedsteads, table, and chairs, and we got a sound night's rest, for which we were very thankful.
August 6.--Got a swim; but alas! no clean things, nor toothbrush, nor sponge, nor nothing, not even a towel. Started from this town, which is called Antsakoa, for the king's town, which is called Fasandava, about a mile and a half. We were met by Alidy, the king's brother, who conducted us into the royal presence. On entering the room, which was long and narrow, we found his majesty, attired in the black embroidered Arab kapota, seated in a chair of state, at the end of the room, with his great people about him. We made the usual kabary, and gathered that he was perhaps more inclined to the French than to the English, because the English had helped Radama to get his land from him; that he was very anxious that his people should be taught, more, perhaps, that they might be able to make soap and gunpowder than for any other reason. Still, there would be a fair opening here for a Mission if a man could be found who could turn his hand to these things. This king was formerly ruler over all the land north of a line drawn from Nosibé to Angontsay. After our audience the king sent us food--mutton, rice, and milk--after which we were summoned to another kabary, and told him all the news. He sent for us again a third time, and in the evening we paid him what we hoped was our farewell visit. In the afternoon he showed us our Union Jack, which had been presented to him by the captain of a ship, and a document from a certain Raymond O'Connor, whom he had appointed generalissimo of his forces, and to whom he covenanted to cede Nosi Mitsiou to the English when he should have been put in possession by them of his ancient territory; this man appears to have been murdered shortly after by the Sakalava of Menabe. We gave the old king a present of thirty dollars, and to Isimolu for his good will ten dollars. We had also covenanted to give Atani twenty-five dollars, and for this we were to be franked as far as Antomboka. Tried hard to get to sleep, but the fleas were too many for me, and after tossing about for three hours, got up and swung my hammock.
August 7.--Got a swim. After breakfast a farewell visit to the king, and after much talking, got on board the dhow; but the captain had, with characteristic indolence, lingered till the land-breeze was over, and we were almost stationary till 2, when the sea-breeze came up. The island looked very lovely as we left it. We stood right across the bay, passing Nosilava on the left or western side; but it was not a comfortable trip, we had too many (twenty-five) on board. We breakfasted off goat liver and kidneys, lunched off a leg of goat, dined oft" hashed goat. I had had some curiosity to taste goat's flesh, and it was fully gratified; I have no desire to taste it again. The breeze fell light as the sun went down, and it was dark before we made Nosibony, where we anchored and lay down on deck in our clothes for a night's rest.
August 8.--A fine breeze brought us speedily to Antafiambe, where we anchored and landed on a beautiful spot, and after a time were duly introduced to the king, Derimany, cousin of Ratsimiaro. The interview took place under a grand old tamarind tree, and the scene was most picturesque; the Arab dresses, with their red caps contrasting with the dark skins, and white lambas, with abundant silver ornaments. Of the Sakalava we were told that the people were beginning to come back to the mainland, and were settling in small towns on the coast; that the king would gladly receive a teacher, and would send him his own children. Our going to Nosi Mitsiou and coming on here has given us a much deeper insight into the habits of these people than we could possibly have obtained in any other way. This part of the coast is more manifestly volcanic than anything that I have seen, except Trinidad. The lava must have flowed right down into the sea. Took a walk into the bush, where I saw my first lemur, a beautiful creature, who looked curiously at us with its large lustrous eyes. When I came back I was asked to prescribe for a man who was very ill; I begged them to wait until Batchelor came, but the poor wretch died almost immediately. He had bought a barrel of rum, and drank it incessantly till it killed him.
August 9.--Got a swim, then a visit from our conductor, Alidy. Then we heard guns, which announced that the funeral festivities had commenced. The dead man was a Mohammedan, but they do not give up the burial customs of their fathers on this account. Paid a visit to Derimany, as is usual on these occasions. Talked to him for some time, and inspected his armoury; his guns were antiquated, but all in first-rate order. We heard some of their customs as to the punishment of crime. If a man kills another wilfully, he is put to death; if by accident (kajiry), he pays twenty dollars to the dead man's representatives. In one case a man set a trap for a wild boar in the road, which is forbidden; a man fell into it and was killed. Ratsimiaro ordered all the property of the offender to be given to the family of the victim. Went to the kraal to inspect a bullock which was to be killed for us. All this time beef and rum were continually being consumed, so that all the people were more or less the worse for liquor except the strict Mohammedans, who do not touch it. One man came in and seated himself at the foot of Batchelor's bed, and stayed till we were forced to turn him out.
August 10.--My fifty-second birthday. Alidy paid us an early visit, and Derimany brought a friend to see us. A good deal of political talk. I am afraid we are here till Saturday, this unfortunate burial upsets everything. Took a walk; saw some curious fruits and the bird which I have called takodaro, but which the Sakalava here call birao. They also call the parrot quera, evidently a Portuguese name. Got a sketch of the opposite island, "Antalyn." A long talk with Alidy and others. Batchelor read some Scripture to them, and gave Alidy a Bible; he is a very good, sensible fellow, and will, I hope, be of great service to us at Nosi Mitsiou. Among the fruits we found to-day was one which grew in clusters, very like grapes, sweet in taste, but extremely glutinous; the natives use it in preparing the tamarind, name, tsimiranja; I saw some last year near Vatomandry.
August 11.--Got a good swim. Went to a lake distant about two miles, where we killed some tsiriry (wild duck). Saw many beautiful flowers and curious fruits. Got a bit of sandal wood, which they call here laza-laza. The fresh tamarind has a very pleasant acid taste. We had a visit to-day from a native of Suratra, Ismael Be, an English subject, and a very fine fellow. The funeral rites proceed. Every now and then we hear a strange noise like an animal in pain, and presently we become aware that a new arrival has commenced his wailing on his landing; this increases in vehemence till he arrives at the place where the body lies, and the people, who are assembled there, take it up. Then follow more beef, more rum, and more dancing to dispel this vehement grief. More talk this evening with Ismael Be; he is a very intelligent as well as a very handsome man.
August 12.--Got a swim before the sun was up, but there were many spectators. All the place astir early about the funeral. The procession of six boats started about 7; we watched them return, after which there was a grand kabary about our journey. One man was for making us pay, but he was snubbed, and told that if he did not take care he would be tied up. Then came the funeral feast. Batchelor sat by the king and talked to them. I went for a sketch, and found him still at it when I returned; he had been having some controversy with them. They told him that the Sultan of Turkey was the greatest monarch in the world, that God built Constantinople, and that 70 children, sons of the kings of the world, were sent to him annually to be educated. On being told that this was untrue, they replied that perhaps their children might know better, but that for themselves they were old, and must fare as best they might on what they had got; so we should have no difficulty about schools. A large number of the people are not Islamites, even by profession. What are they?--Just rationalistic heathens. The Mohammedans from this place send money to Mecca every year. Got off some of our luggage this evening.
August 13.--A swim by moonlight; romantic but cold. Got off in six canoes at 6.45. We gave Derimany a telescope and five dollars. It is hardly possible to conceive anything more picturesque than our departure. The old tamarind tree, the king and his people, and the six lakampiara. There was no wind, and we had to paddle. Passed by the towns of Antsahabe, Ralampenjika, Bobatsiratra, Rapan-dolo. Went ashore at this last town, had prayers with the servants, and a long talk with Alidy. Made up our minds to be off as soon as the moon was up, and accordingly rose at 2 a.m.; but owing to provoking delays, did not get off till nearly 4.
August 14.--Rounded Cape Sebastian at 5; beautiful sunrise. Saw the coast right up to Liverpool Sound (Antsakoa). Landed for breakfast on a beautiful sandy beach, where we found coral, shells, and sponge. Got on again to Befotaka Bay (loraka), and landed at a village called Fararano. (This bay runs up some distance, and the walk across the isthmus to Antufiambe cannot be above five miles.) We had to remain here the rest of the day; it is a low place, much given to toaka. Paid a visit to one of the huts, where I saw an old delft water-jug, which revived memories of old china days. Persuaded the lady of the house to sell us some wooden spoons. The towns of Befotaka and Tany Fotsy are on the opposite side of the bay. The summit of Mount Amber bears E.S.E. from this place.
August 15.--Did not get off till nearly 10; paddled some way, then up sail. We had now twelve canoes, and the scene was delightful; it was, in fact, quite a regatta. I took the measurement of one of these lakampiara, which was 26 feet long by 2 feet i inch broad in its widest part. They have no masts but two sprits, which are stepped into holes at the bottom of the boat. The breeze was light at first, but gradually freshened till we began to ship a good deal of water. At last, one of the sprits came to grief, which was a token to us that it was time to make for land, which we did. Putting into Loraka Talaka, went on a voyage of discovery, found some curious stones. There is a great quantity of mineral here. I saw traces of copper and the iron of course was abundant; but from the way in which reefs of quartz cropped up I am under the impression that the district is exceedingly rich. Waited for the breeze to abate, which it refused to do; so we had to lie down and get a few hours' rest in our tent. Alidy, who could not sleep himself, was very restless, and roused us up at 11.30; but we did not get off till 12.30, when we launched our canoes. There was still a stiff breeze and only starlight, but our men put out without any hesitation, and as soon as we had made an offing to fetch the point up went the sail. There was the same sort of "lop" on the water and we got very wet. It was very chilly and we quite enjoyed the waves coming in, they were so warm. At last we rounded the point and got into the bay, but the breeze was too strong for us, so we beached our canoes, and very soon fires were lighted, and we were drying our clothes and warming ourselves, for the breeze had been very fresh and we were quite cold. The scene around the fire was most wild and curious. The Antankara were in the wildest spirits, laughing and cracking their jokes, every now and then screaming and shouting; and the two Vazahas sitting composedly in the middle quite at home. As soon as we were warm and dry we lay down and got some sleep. We started again at 5, when the day was beginning to break; breeze still very stiff and right in our teeth. There was no deception whatever in the two hours' work that the men had. The bay was very shallow and they got out, and they eased themselves occasionally by hauling the canoes along, and sometimes by punting them. Landed at Andramaimbo at 7 A.M., where we were met and courteously received by a Banian Indian who was there with his dhow, and who is building a house, but in the meanwhile has a small store in a leaf hut. He was a large man, of very peculiar figure; a bargaining between him and Alidy was most amusing, it was "diamond cut diamond," but the Indian had the best of it. Got a sketch. We are to remain here all day. In the afternoon Batchelor and I started for a walk, we followed the track to Antomboka and got to the top of the central ridge in half-an-hour. There was a fine ridge, very sharp and steep, running north which we determined to climb. It was so narrow that I could sit astride on it, and all but precipitous. The views were very fine as we ascended, and we could see the Mozambique on the west, and the Indian Ocean, and Diegosoarez bay in British Sound on the east. I found all the old zest for climbing fall upon me. We passed up through a charming bit of forest, and in the midst of it came upon a very beautiful silver-grey lemur, who looked at us with its bright large eyes and then sped away. When we emerged from the forest we had still some way to go to reach the highest point from which we could see all round Cape Amber. It was now very near sundown, so we took our bearings and commenced our descent, making straight for our tent. Our first essay was a mistake, we came upon an impracticable (at that hour) rock, so we harked back, losing thereby an exceedingly valuable half-hour. The slope down which we went was covered with long grass, in which were hidden innumerable stones and rocks, which made our progress hazardous and slow. We constantly came upon the lairs and tracks of wild boars, but saw none. As we passed one wood I gave a shout, which was answered by the lemurs, which, came to the edge of their forest to see us, but it was too dark now to make them out. We made our point all right, but when we got to the shore we could not hit upon our tent. We had in fact worked too far north. I led south at first, but we got into so much mud, the end of which was uncertain, that we had to retrace our steps. It was now quite dark, and I fancied that we had got too far south, but Batchelor had his bearings and took the lead. I was quite done, and felt disposed to light a fire and make a night of it, but the recollection of our men kept us going, and at last we hit the sea-shore again and found ourselves in the right track, but the last two miles were exceedingly trying. Once we came suddenly on a deep ditch round which we could find no path, and right glad we were to reach our tent. The men came in. Alidy with his sword of office, and made a regular kabary about our return, for they said that if we had been lost or any harm had happened to us, they would inevitably have lost their lives, if not at the hands of the Hovah, certainly at the hands of their own people; of such consequence are the Vazaha. To bed very tired.
Aug. 16.--Got off at 5.40. Walked on briskly till 8; then I began to want shade and water. Stopped a little and enjoyed some cold tea and biscuit. Then on again till we got to the edge of a bit of forest, which we entered, and presently heard voices. All at once we came upon a most enchanting scene, a fine sparkling stream--the Antomboka--flowing between finely-wooded banks. The trees wide apart, and very little under-growth; it was most delicious. The men washed themselves and their clothes; Batchelor bathed; I was too lazy. After an hour's rest we went on to a particularly miserable town, called Namakia, where we got some food in a very dirty house; after this we had to walk three quarters of a mile to another part of the village, where we found a larger, if not a cleaner house, but the people were most unwilling to leave it. I swung my hammock and reposed, while Batchelor kept up a kabary with Alidy and Tsindriana; presently we heard the drum (langaroon) and music, and we were told that the commander had sent for us. Accordingly four soldiers presently arrived with a manan honinahitra (man of honour), and we were escorted with military honours to the Rova, where the Governor in full fig was awaiting our arrival; here ensued a scene which baffles all description. The kabary of the Antankara introducing us, and of the Hovah commander receiving us, no pen can possibly describe. The former asserted boldly that next to Queen Victoria we were the greatest men of the English nation; that King Ratsimiaro had shown us all his possessions, and given us one of every description of live stock which he possessed. Then the Governor Taratahy replied in suitable terms, and conducted us into his house where toaka was handed round, and we drank every one's health, including our own. He showed us his baby, a very jolly child, who let me take him up. Then came the crowning act--the commander to show that he was ravoravo indrindra, i.e. perfectly enchanted at our coming, got up and danced a pas seul, we of course looking gravely on, and nodding our heads in time. At last we got away, the commander escorting us after we had gone through the usual Hovah dress parade, and presented us with a bullock and much rice.
August 17--Next morning we heard bad news about Maromita, and we soon saw that we should have to walk again, for which I prepared by leaving my coat in the hands of one of the men. We started with all honour, soldiers and music, and had some very nasty places to cross at length we made our final adieux to the commander, and started on our way. After walking about five miles we came to a brook, which was most refreshing, and rested a while. Batchelor said that we were quite close to Ambohimarina; but alas, after we had gone quite two miles further, my attendant said that "This is halfway;" my heart sank within me! But when we had gone nearly another mile, and had ascended some rising ground, he said again, "Indro ny Rova" (Lo, there is the Rova); and sure enough, far, far away, at the very top of the highest hill was a rock, to which we, unhappy, had to climb. Fortunately there was a fine breeze, and it was cloudy, but my feet began to give; however, there was nothing for it but to trudge boldly on. When we arrived at the foot of the ascent we had to contemplate a climb of some 800 feet. However, with many a pause and many a rest, we at last got up and found ourselves under a natural wall of freestone, some twenty feet high, as regular as masonry, with the most delicious water dropping down, and the Adiantum Capillus Veneris growing as I have seen it grow nowhere but in Northern Italy. I would do nothing but put my head under the droppings and rejoice in the cool; Batchelor bathed, but I did not feel equal to the exertion. We got over the great wall of rock by ascending some rough steps, and found ourselves on a stretch of table-land some three-quarters of a mile long, from which cropped up chalk as white as snow, and beautiful fruits and red freestone, which seemed to underlie the chalk; there were also limestone crystals. After crossing this plain we came to some Antankara huts, at one of which we halted, both of us footsore and weary. But alas! there was no peace, the place was filled with our suite and friends, who chattered incessantly; and presently there came the sound of music, which announced our summons to the higher regions. I flatly refused to go under any circumstances until I had taken some food, and then only in a filanzana, which was immediately sent for; and after some trouble in getting bearers (for the Sakalava steadfastly refuse to be degraded in this way) we set forth with great parade, the guard presenting arms, &c., &c. When we arrived at the space before the Rova the flag was hoisted in our honour, and in the court within the palisade there were drawn up some forty or fifty men of honour and soldiers, who went through the regular drill of "Rear rank, take open order," there being no "rear rank;" "Quick march," which they performed standing; "Attention," to which they did not attend; and "Stand at ease," which they chiefly accomplished by grasping tightly the blades of their swords! Then commenced the kabary. It was just the same as yesterday, only that, if possible, we had in the meanwhile become greater men; and we were conducted into the commander's house, where we had to drink the health of every one in stuff which really was vinegar; not merely sour wine, it had got beyond that. It was extremely amusing to watch the faces of the Antankara. At length we were conducted to the house which was set apart for us, and to our great delight John and Mark arrived with the luggage. To get a cup of tea became possible. An inquisitive fellow came to try and pump us; of course we had nothing to conceal, and told him the truth. Equally of course he only thought that we were more than usually cunning, that every word we uttered was false. A delicious rest, and next morning (August 18), before we were dressed, our curious friend was upon us. Soon after the governor came in plain clothes, and held a friendly kabary, all ceremony being thrown aside. Then we wished good-bye, for we wished to look about us, but we were not permitted to go alone. It is a most wonderful place, and if properly manned might be a second Ehrenbreitstein; as it is there is nothing to hinder it being taken by a coup-de-main. Fifty resolute men would be enough. They have no cannon, and only a few of the old brown-bess. We got out at the southern part, and here a very laughable incident occurred. My hat blew off into the midst of a thicket of the prickly pear, which of course is impenetrable to unclothed legs. I was solemnly asked if I had another hat, and was forced to reply in the negative; so they fetched a long pole, and after half-an-hour's fishing, my hat was secured from what would have been its riot untimely end. We got back, and were really left alone. I must not, however, forget to chronicle that this governor also, to show his exceeding sense of the honour conferred upon him by the visit of two such distinguished foreigners, danced before us; his, however, was not a pas seul, he chose a male partner, and performed a kind of minuet, which it must have required some study to acquire; the steps were French, but the dance itself is said to be a Malagasy invention. The wind at this elevation is unceasing, and the dust worse than that of London in March; but there is no sense of heat, the breeze comes fresh from the sea. We were soon summoned to a grand banquet at the Rova with our island friends. Everything was very pleasant, except the food, which was as nasty as possible. The commander escorted us home; we sat and discoursed a while, when to our surprise the commander was announced again; he was followed by a slave, who brought something carefully wrapped up in a lamba, which turned out to be an accordion somewhat disarranged, which he wanted us to mend. Batchelor as usual was to the fore, and quite equal to the emergency. Some pins were procured, and the instrument mended. We asked the commander if he was mahay at it. and he put his head on one side, and said with much modesty, that he was yet learning. He then sought some relief from his own various complaints; some of them were quite beyond us; but I ventured to tell him that fulness of the stomach and pains in the back were caused by too much beef and too little exercise. There was a bottle of pyretic saline lying on the table, so I took some and recommended it to him. It immediately became very popular, and every one had a taste. Then he retired, and Alidy and Isindriana came in for a letter to their king, which Batchelor gave them. We gave them also some money as a present, which gave cause to an oration from Isindriana, which was very prettily expressed, to the effect that they had never before seen such Vazaha as we were, and that they knew we were great men, because of our conduct and demeanour. We have clearly made great allies of these Antankara, and it is a great matter to have done so; they have secured us a free passage all down the coast.
Sunday, August 20.--The Antankara have an odd way of running off when there is the least suspicion of state service to be done, and there were not enough men for us. The commander raved, and stamped, and shouted, so did Ratsimo. Our island friends sat silent spectators, looking at us with much amusement at the trouble they had so cunningly brought upon the Hovah. At one time I thought we should never get away, but the Hovah were brought up to the scratch and at last we got away, I with four bearers. After descending to the first plateau I waited for Batchelor, who followed more slowly, escorted by the choir singing and the commander. We made our last farewells, and descended on foot. It was like a bit of Alpine descent, first down a ladder and then a very steep, rough path, with a splendid view before us; we got to the plain, and then on for about four miles to a village named Antananarivo, where we slept. The country is manifestly volcanic, and there were abundance of plutonic rock, scoriae, and lava. I noticed to-day a vein of crystals running into the freestone near the Rova. All the range of hills of which Ambohimarina is the chief, is called Antsingy. We crossed to-day the river Anivo, which flows through a small ravine very thick on both sides and finely wooded; it was quite hidden until we were close upon it. There is a very fine hill near us here, called Andrabora, and another behind it and Ambohimarina, the name of which is Kata Katovo.
Monday, August 21.--Got off at 7, pulled up for breakfast at 9. Then on for four hours and a half, which brought us to Erodo. Mark was behind, so that we had "no nothing" again, and passed a comfortless evening and night, lying down in our clothes.
Tuesday, August 22.--Got off at 8.30 and crossed the Erodo, and went on skirting several creeks and a sandy plain full of the tree palm. Stopped for breakfast under a fine tamarind-tree. On again for three hours, and weather became very rough and wet; skirted the hills called Alamerina, which run north and south; got in at Lonkia damp, and cross; a miserable house, and all those attendant miseries from which in fine weather one can escape, but which to-day had to be endured. This Lonkey or Lonkia is a place where an Englishman was murdered by the Antankara, from which occurrence Vohimarina passed into the hands of the English. One of our Antankara friends told us all about it, having heard the story from his father. He also said that an old man who lived there had committed the story to writing but that the French had got hold of it. We heard a curious thing here, which I would not undertake to say was not true, viz. that there exists in the mountain a spider whose web is so large and so strong that it catches birds and devours them. Many persons, we were told, have seen this creature, but not our informant. There is here abundance of white marble, also of pink and white cornelian. Alas, no Mark and no luggage, and we have consumed our last fowl; he arrived in the evening, but with two boxes soaked with water; Bible and mathematical instruments suffered sadly, but nothing was lost.
August 23.--We were roused at daybreak, and made as uncomfortable as possible, and of course had to wait an hour on the beach while our luggage was ferried over. The distance was about two miles. At last we got over, and were much interested at seeing some natives spearing fish; they walked into the water, and seldom missed their quarry, at from five to ten yards. I have forgotten to say that there are at Lonkia the remains of a rough stone jetty; whether this was built by English or French we could not make out. The place at which they lived is also pointed out, and they are said to be all buried there.
When we landed and had waited some time, I began to get anxious about our progress; but presently a party of our conductors came to us and said that there was a great deal of water between us and Andravina (the next station), that one river, which was especially dangerous, could only be passed at low water, &c. In vain I pointed out that we should reach it exactly at low water if we went on. They had made up their minds not to go, and we had to make the best of it, but I found it quite necessary to take a long walk to restore my equanimity. I got a very beautiful bird, to-day just as the sun went down. I think it was a grebe; it had an immensely long neck, and the body was the size of a large Muscovy duck. Suffered from my long walk in the sun.
August 24.--A good swim, got off at 6.40. Before we had gone far there was a cry of ombimanga (wild oxen) so we put in bullets and set forth. I was very lame, and still feeling the sun of yesterday, and could not keep up very well; we got up to three cows, a yearling and a bull; we both fired at the same cow, which was nearest to us, and as we had the wind, they did not see us till we fired. They all made off, but the Sakalava declared that one was hit, and went off in pursuit. We rejoined our filanzanas, and soon came up with the party who had secured the unfortunate cow; then ensued a grand scene of beef, and great were the preparations for cooking, and as a natural consequence we were much delayed; at last we got on. After two hours there was a halt, and a proposition to stop for the night, at which I boiled over and gave free vent to my feelings, and this had the desired effect. We came to the river, about which so much had been said, just at low water, and crossed it at mid-thigh. Again there was a proposal to stop, but the wind was too high and the mosquitoes too numerous even for the Hovah. Saw here a crocodile asleep, a monstrous brute about twelve feet long, but unfortunately the wrong side of the river, and I had not energy enough to go back to him. I saw here a magnificent bird, which I believe to be the male of the grebe which I got yesterday; it soared about grandly, and at a distance, when its neck was hidden, was almost like an eagle. Got on to Andravina, another lovely place, with fine mountains on the south, and a fine bay to the east.
August 25.--Here our troubles thickened, we were now out of the district of Ambohimarina, and dependent on a fresh corps of men, who could not begot together; in truth the object of our friends was to delay us by all possible means. There was nothing for it but resignation.
August 26.--Letters arrived from Hiarana, which made us hopeful.
August 27.--We were nearly off this morning, when the great man of the village came with much ceremony, and said that he wished to show us his respect by killing a bullock (this, as we found out afterwards, was another dodge to delay us), so we had to stay, and I confess I was not sorry to have a quiet Sunday.
August 28.--Got off at 8; passed some fine calves, with abundance of birds. Breakfast at a wretched Betsimisaraka village: on for Manambato, which we reached before sun-down. [These Betsimisaraka seem in this district, as in the west, to impinge upon the Sakalava or Antankara.] Batchelor arrived after me, very triumphant, with three wild guinea fowl. One of my bearers to-day had carried me last year from Foule point to Tamatave. A young Hovah, named Ranzalahy, came to visit us; we had a good deal of political talk. Our luggage was behind, so that we were compelled to wait; we are now not more than ten miles from Vohimare.
August 29.--There was a funeral going on in the village, so we heard something of their burial customs here. If the person dies while the moon is waxing, they bury him after the moon is dead; if while it is waning, after the death of the following moon. They wrap the corpse in a hide, and every day they lift it up and bind it to a post, taking it down morning and evening; when they take it down they bind the hide more and more tightly round the body; so that at last all the corruption goes into the ground, and nothing is left but the bones. Then they take a canoe and cut off the two ends, so as to form a coffin, in which they place the skeleton, which they carry off to a fixed spot on the sea-shore, each tribe having its own special graveyard, and different families take it in turn to visit the coffins and renew them as they wear out.
August 30.--Got off at 9; saw a crocodile en route, and a very large flock of akanga (guinea fowl). Batchelor had to walk, he could get no bearers. Stopped for breakfast at Ambavato, and soon came in sight of the beautiful bay of Vohimare; we were met by Simeona and Josefa, two of the men who had come down to meet me at Andevoranto in 1874. This town of Hiarana or Vohimare is a small town of the same character as Tamatave, but very much smaller; we were conducted to the house which Campbell used to occupy. The people were not enthusiastic in their reception. This is not the chief town, but only the port, and our church here is very small. A young Mauritian, M. Lionnet, was very attentive to us. All our luggage left at Manambato, under charge of Mark.
Thursday, August 31.--We have of course to go through any amount of interview in this new place, and the people are very curious to see us, because we have come such a distance. Called on some Creoles, M. Courtois and M. Gignois. Evensong at 5; a nice talk with a dear old Creole, called M. Mirbel, who has a sweet little boy, Jules; he said that he was a Roman Catholic, and that a chance priest had baptized his child; but he expressed an earnest hope that we should come here and establish a school. We are very favourably impressed by Andrianifidy, the Mpitandrian here.
Friday, September 1.--Litany, &c.; many visitors; wrote letters; Simeona brought his wife Esitera, to make our acquaintance. We had several questions of importance to talk over relating to marriage difficulties, &c.; Andrianifidy wishes to be baptized; finish letters, (Saturday, September 2), which went off this morning per ship Hollander; matins; the entana happily all arrived. The mother of John Ratsiza, who wishes to be baptized, came for preparation, with Andrianifidy; the geronta nouqetein is an awful, impossible task. Got a sketch of our little church.
Sunday, September 3.--Matins; Batchelor baptized Mary and David John (Andrianifidy), the latter conditionally. Evensong, to which all the Creoles came.
The English Church at Vohimare
Monday, September 4.--Got off for Amboanio at 8, a most beautiful and rapid drive, over downs like the South downs, in view of a coast like North Cornwall about Newquay, with perhaps fewer rocks. Got to the river Manambery, and waited for Batchelor; we were met here by our church, a goodly company, who sang many hymns to testify their joy at our arrival; we then proceeded towards the town. After we had gone some way we met the Hovah congregation, which also turned out to met us, and preceded us, singing. Put up in Simeona's house close to the church, which was very comfortable; much kabarying of course. We saw to-day a most gorgeous funeral procession of an old officer of Radama I., who had just died; there was an effigy mounting guard over the coffin, which was covered with gorgeous coloured silk and satin; made a rough sketch of it. Evensong; much interesting talk with Simeona; got our letters; Simeona again; they rejoice much at the prospect of a Vazaha; our mail told us of things which gave us much subject for talk and thought.
September 5.--Matins; constant kabary; confirmation class and singing class; evensong; went to pay our respects to the governor; found him in a large room, the centre of a square of about fifty officers, and our reception was polite--not warm; we are a complete puzzle to them, and they are disgusted at our having got here by fanompoana. One very interesting part of to-day's work is that Simeona made a formal application through the church to be solemnly married to his wife.
September 6.--Set to work upon the translation of the marriage service, and finished the confirmation service. Yams, rice, and a bullock from the congregation. One of our people named Joel paid us a visit, and told us that they were all extremely busy, preparing the census for the fanidoana; he told us that this was done in each township, so that every Andriambaventy knew the number of men in his village. The district of Amboanio extends from the Lonkia to Bemarivo, which is half a day north of Sambava. The number of persons in this district this year is 1,750. The district runs across the island to Mahavavy, near Ifasi. Joel gave us fearful accounts of the ravages of the small-pox, and told us that in the villages on the Sambivano, on the west coast, 1,000 persons had died, and that in some villages with forty houses not more than five or six persons survived. Evensong. Went up to the battery, where we were hospitably entertained by Andriamanana; it was the best dinner I have ever eaten at a commander's.
Thursday, September 7.--Matins. Visitors. Got a sketch. Worked at marriage service. The church brought us John Ratzina's bullock; verily we are bebullocked. The commander's bullock was killed just outside our door, to my great annoyance; he was a very wild creature and nearly got into our house. The way in which they cut him up would have made an English butcher weep. Went to the battery for an interview with the commander, and told him that we had made a request to the prime minister that five men here might be released from fanompoana, that we knew the question had been referred to him, but that we had never heard his answer. He replied that he had been much surprised when he heard that we had asked the prime minister about the matter, for that the question ought to have been referred to him; and further, that our men were subject to no service which need interfere with their work; that the Hovah were able to get on without this privilege, and so ought we, &c.; which was all just special pleading. We then asked to be forwarded to Sambava on Monday, about which he said he would consult his Manamboninahitra; after which we retired.
The priestly family of the Oujonby appears to be a sort of priestly family among the Sakalava. They are the conductors of the native religion. They strictly abstain from swine's flesh, and are much looked up to by the rest of their tribe. When Joshua became a Christian (being an Oujonby) Ifojia, who is a chief man of this family, prayed that God might strike him dead with small-pox, so that he and all his might perish.
Friday, September 8.--I awoke very early, soon after midnight, with one of those odd sensations that something was wrong, and I became conscious that it was my hammock. I tried hard to persuade myself that it was absurd, but in the middle of my reasonings down it came, happily by the foot, not the head, so that I was not the least hurt or shaken. Kabarys and classes, and a walk to the sea-shore.
Saturday, September 9.--Finished marriage service. A visit from another freed Makoa, who confirmed the story about slavery. Singing class. Batchelor very feverish. A long talk with the elders of the church.
Sunday, September 10.--Our service was hymn, lesson, litany, hymn, marriage of Simeona and Esitera, ante-communion, confirmation, sermon, and celebration; five women and seven men confirmed; at evensong Elijah, son of Josefa, was baptized. We had an interesting interview with Andrianavo, but oxen came in, so we had to stop; the man was manifestly very sad. Seven elders of the church came in for a long kabary; propounded to them the ordaining of Simeona a deacon, if we could succeed in getting him off fanompoana; to this they all severally and formally assented in a short speech. I have never anywhere seen a more satisfactory and unanimous church council. These men have really "fought the good fight of faith" here; they have never received and never ask for any pay; they are true and good men, and deserve the highest encouragement. Simeona said that he and his wife held themselves ready to come up to Antananarivo when summoned by me.
Monday, September 11.--Had an interview with the commander about going off to-morrow, offering to pay i$ a head for men; but no, this would not do, they were afraid; but they promised to send us off on Thursday. Went to the sea-shore and got a sketch. Evensong. In the evening Simeona came in with some letters which Samuel ought to have brought; the man who brought them left the capital on August 16, and brought the startling news that it was reported that we had been murdered, and that the Queen had sent out Tsymandoa (men who pay nothing) to seek for us; also that small-pox was very bad at Tamatave.
Tuesday.--Called on the Arab La Roche, and accepted an invitation to dine with him. Got a sketch of the native town. Batchelor went to see a man supposed to be dying of lock-jaw. I went to sketch. When I returned I found him besieged with Borizany, who wanted to take us to Tamatave; got him to send them away. Dined with the Arab.
Wednesday, September 13.--Simeona came for a talk, and at last told out all his heart. After evensong Joshua came in for a talk; he is a good earnest fellow.
Thursday.--There are signs that we shall really go; the commander will send our entana, and we have to provide filanzana; they might just as well have told us this first as last. After much noise and chattering there was a sudden lull, and we found that all the noise had been to deceive us, and that they did not intend us to go. Whereupon the British lion was roused; even Batchelor lost patience, and I strode forth on foot. John ran after me to persuade me that I did not know the road; that there was much water, and finally that Missus had said that he was not to let me walk; so I laughed and told him that Missus was not there, and continued my way. Batchelor soon overtook me; we took off shoes and stockings to cross some water, and went on barefoot till my filanzana came up and I went on with them; Batchelor walking. I got in about half-an-hour before he did at Fanambana, where we stopped. Joshua, Simeona, and Esther soon came in, and we had a good laugh over our exploit. The entana soon followed. We crossed the river Fanambana, and put up for the night at a small village on the other side, Antsatro Kolina. Walked to the top of a hill and looked back on Amboanio. We had a very noisy night, drunkenness and revelry; every one seemed to be drunk. I hope we are not responsible for all the sin which follows in our suite.
Friday, September 20.--Got a sketch and started at 7.30; a very beautiful ride over the plain. Arrived at Joseph's village at 11. This is a small village, and we see what all the villages may, and please God, will, become. There is a nice little church which the people have put up themselves, and it is manifestly a quiet orderly Christian place, beautifully situated near the foot of the hill Ampohitany, around which many villages seem to be grouped. Samuel managed to bring his child to be baptized here. The name of the village is Ambohihariha. Got a sketch. Then evensong and the baptism. Then a long talk with our friends. One man entered into the spirit of the place, and instead of the ruffianism of last night they sang hymns, showing a type of the Malagasy character, viz. the wonderful way in which they adapt themselves to the circumstances of the hour, which in no small degree enhances the guilt of the Vazaha, who set them a bad example.
Sept. 16.--This morning came numerous farewells to our kind friends, which delayed us a good deal when we came to start. There were only six bearers between us. Batchelor insisted on walking, so, after a vain struggle, I accepted the burthen of my age and dignity, and went on. Crossed the river Mpanobe, which gives the name to the district. There is a beautiful bit of wood fringing this river, with mandarofa (gum-copal) trees; passed a large town, which, however, we did not see, called Ambohimadilo, on the south, and reached a small town, called Manakana (compare Manaccan), where we had breakfast, reaching a village called Mataingia at three. The houses in this place were all so small that we had to supplement the one chosen for us with our tent. Took a walk, and saw the bird, which I have always supposed to be a cormorant, but which I found was called vadimboay, or crocodile's wife, because it is always found in attendance on the crocodile, and does not fear him.
Sept. 17.--We determined to put on a spurt to-day, so we got off soon after six, and went on till 12.15. The country was very fine, and the forest, of which there was a good deal, was finer than any I have yet seen. The mandarofa and the traveller's trees, especially, were magnificent. Got to the sea-shore, and presently to a town called Manahara, where we found a young Breton, by name Blanchette, with his Malagasy wife, who entertained us hospitably; he hails from Granville. He told us that he can go up a long day's journey from this town, by Lakana, to a place called Bararatra, near which place is a remarkable hill, called Andrangotra. The forest here comes down to the sea-shore, and the mosquitoes were very troublesome. He gave us a good deal of information about the slave trade, and said that all the Arabs were engaged in it, and he produced a young Makoa girl, who had been lately brought over. This girl was the slave of his wife; hence we gather that the Creoles and French, who cannot, as English and French subjects, hold slaves themselves, evade the law through their concubines, and are really aiders and abetters in the abominable traffic. Arrived at Pasimbato, a small town, said to belong to John Ratsibena, where we were met by a man who called himself Ernest Davidra, who was very civil to us; he showed us letters from the Governor of Tamatave, which had just arrived, which said that the small-pox was bad at Tamatave, and that the consul and admiral were about to visit all the important places on the coast. Our supper was much assisted by some food which our friend Ernest brought us, which had been prepared by his slave, who had been cook at Pakenham's.
Sept. 18.--Got to Bemarivo. This is the limit (southern) of the Sakalava at present, and also the last town in the district of Amboanio. We now enter upon the district of Isoavan' Andriana. We were met by friends from Zacharias Ralaza, the Hovah Governor of Isoavan' Andriana, and, after a long delay, crossed the river Bemarivo, a wide, shallow stream, and after a beautiful ride, over plain and through forest, arrived at Sambava. Crossed the river, and went to the Lafa, where we were received with much trembling by the Captain of la Douane, who evidently did not know what to make of us, or what to do with us; however, he hoisted the Royal flag in our honour. Presently a portly old Frenchman arrived, who told us he was M. Guisnet, and begged us to come to his house, which invitation we, nothing loth, accepted. He gave us some refreshment, and in due time a very good dinner, but before this our host took us to inspect his various buildings, gardens, &c. What he has done is truly marvellous. He has built a wooden bridge, some eighty yards long, and cleared a portion of the forest, and drained the marsh, leading the water into fish ponds. The land has been planted with coffee, and a portion of it he has converted into a pleasure garden. It just shows what this country is capable of being made; it is a wonderful bit of European civilisation in the midst of barbarism. M. Guisnet discoursed much on Madagascar; he has been here thirty years, and is as much a Malagasy as a Frenchman. We rather enjoyed a bed to-night after six weeks of Malagasy huts and their concomitants.
Sept. 19.--When I came down I found Batchelor and our host hard at work over the politics of Madagascar, M. Guisnet, looking at the question from a French point of view, attributed all the woes of Madagascar to the treacherous English policy, and then he made up for all by saying that the remedy was to be found in the re-creation of society by the English clergy, headed by Monseigneur the Bishop! Breakfast at 11.30, which did not at all suit my internal arrangements, but it was very good when it came. Politics again, during which the tortuous English policy was so emphatically denounced, that I found the British lion's spirit getting up. However, French courtesy and tact smoothed it all, and we wished our kind host good-bye, and started for the Governor's town, which is called Isoavan' Andriana. It was very wet, and I found that "I had a back." We had to wait some time for the conductor to the Governor's presence, and the usual kabary ensued, after which we held evensong in a nice large church with a good congregation. I think that this place should be the centre of our work in the north.
Sept. 20.--To-day we had the bullock from the governor, and I was duly summoned to receive the vodihena (the rump), which is the royal portion. Confirmation and singing-classes and evensong followed, &c. We sent off here to see if there were any letters for us at Angoutry, and decided that if the ladies had been unable to come down to Tamatave, the best plan would be for me to return via Fenoarivo.
Sept. 21.--St. Matthew. Matins. Dined with the commander--a very pleasant visit. Classes catechetical and musical. Zacharias was present, and enjoyed the new tunes very much. Evensong. Took a walk, with the other Zacharias as our guide, and watched a native blacksmith at work. We found it very close and hot to-day. The sun is beginning to assert his strength. Read Grandidier's pamphlets, from which I think it is easy to trace our course. We kept the plain country, which is a continuation of the great Tankay plain, till we had passed through what is called the Wilderness. Thence we descended into the Sakalava country, and got up into the high central plateau, through a gap which is caused by the Ambiniviny range. Turning westward, we descended from the plateau again, after we had crossed Ambohimalaza, and got into the low country on the western side.
Sept. 22.--Worked at map and classes. Simeona and Zacharias came in for a long chat, during which politics came to the fore. The peculiar characteristics of the Hovah formed the staple of our talk, and then we had the history of the Antankara tribe (Sakalava). It seems that the first Radama, in his wisdom, let the petty kings in these distant parts alone, and told them to manage their own affairs themselves; but that when Ranavalona, his wife, came to the throne, she commenced to change this wise policy, and to exact state service from them. Ratsimiaro, seeing the course which events were taking, retreated to Nosimitsiou, and the people began to flock after him, upon which the Hovah proclaimed death to those who did so, and on one occasion, having information of the intended migration of a large body of men, they invited them to a conference, and treacherously killed them all in cold blood, sending up 2,000 women as slaves to the capital. One chief, however, got away with 10,000 followers. Now we see why this country is depopulated. There can be no doubt that there will be a terrible day of reckoning for all this.
Sept. 23.--Matins. Got a sketch. Classes again, and at evensong were baptized four males and three females. The Governor asked us to-day our intentions respecting a teacher for his district. We told him all our hearts, and he was quite satisfied. Two of the men, baptized to-day were Olona Mainty, a class of honour men, who obtained their rank from their brave conduct in war. The weather waxes hotter and hotter.
Sept. 24, Sunday.--The services this morning were litany, two marriages, confirmations (thirteen candidates), celebration (twenty communicants). The confirmed were very earnest, and included the good old Governor and his wife, and two men of honour, the aforesaid Olona Mainty. At evensong six children were baptized; it was a most delightful and interesting service, one child especially, who received the name of Vashti, came and knelt down in a most touchingly beautiful manner, and the women who had children that they could carry knelt with them. Heard to-day that our messengers had come to grief, so we hear nothing from Angoutry, and make up our minds to be off as soon as possible. Kabary with Zacharias (governor) and his wife, &c., who brought us two bottles of wine for our journey. Simeona and Zacharias too came for a final talk, and Philip took the list of those who had been confirmed and baptized. Then a long talk about our journey, and the affairs of the Church, in all of which there has been no single allusion to money in any way; these men are working for love, and this is the first district in Madagascar in which I have found genuine work going on which is not well paid for.
Sept. 25.--We married to-day four couples, baptized fourteen, and confirmed eight. More presents from the commander, pork, fowls, and rice. Simeona came in, and we had a long talk. It appears that he was originally a slave at Ikongo, that remarkable hill city in the south which has always preserved its independence. The people of this city are Sakalava, Arabic in their origin, and still use the Arabic characters. He told us that the Northern Tankay, reaching to Maharitondrano, are a tribe of Hovah, and that the Hovah came from the north-east coast, and were gradually, as they were few in numbers, forced up to the centre of the island. He said that this is evident from the fact that the Hovah alone possess the art of smelting iron, and that the remains of their smelting houses can be traced all along their route; that the Northern Tankay have the secret, and practise smelting secretly, for fear of their kindred in Imerina. Simeona said that between Bemarivo and Lokia there were 500 Makoa who had been imported since 1865, and north of the Lokia double that number.
Sept. 26.--Got our men together, wished good-bye, and started with mutual regrets for Sambava. The people were very civil, and Madame Guisnet came and begged us to honour her with our presence, which we were glad to do. Two Creoles came in afterwards, D'Espagnac, Hubert, and a Frenchman named Frogel. They told us that there had been a vessel, the Paul et Gaston, waiting for us at the end of August, and that the Gled was expected; that a Vazaha (whom they called Little) had been at Angoutry and Ahtalaha Batchelor went out with Guisnet's man to try and get an akobo-an-ala, the Malagasy cock of the woods; I followed lazily; presently there was a shot, and they returned triumphantly with a beautiful bird. The tuft on the head is white, dashed with black, neck shot-green, back and breast dark red, legs to the back black, and then pink wings, white and large. Enjoyed bed once more, free from mosquitoes.
Sept. 27.--Just as we were starting a ship hove in sight, we asked what she was, and were told that she was evidently a bullocker bound for Vohimare, so we wished good-bye, and started. A beautiful ride, many pools and lakes full of birds, green pigeons and dark blue, saw akatiga, but they were very wild. Got some fruit like the medlar, called vantrika, which was very nice. The road became very bad, and I had to be carried pick-a-back over several bad places, where the man who carried me had to seek a precarious footing on a pole under water, for which he had to feel with his feet. After this we had a rough road through jungle, and eventually arrived at the Lokoi, where we met with a curious bird, called mpamaki kora, or shell-breaker, with a most powerful beak, evidently used as a crusher. Got to Mahaira, and wished for our dinner, having subsisted so far on a small cup of coffee, which was indeed most delicious, but insufficient; dined off the akobo-an-ala, which was delicious. The bird is as large as a pheasant, with a much larger breast. Got some seeds of a very beautiful creeper, called vahinibilo, which I have only seen at this river and near Sambava, carnation colour, convolvulus shape, but perennial stem wood. When I got back I found two nice old ladies, Betsimisaraka, conversing with Batchelor. They were full of all sorts of interesting information, which he, with habitual skill, was extracting from them. They told us that Bemarivo was the northern boundary of the Betsimisaraka. No doubt as the Antankara retired, this tribe was pushed up to fill their place. After the old ladies had retired we had to turn a woman out who appeared to think that her presence was necessary to our welfare; and the mistress of the house, who, poor thing, had a lustrous eye, a hollow cheek, and a hacking cough, retired to an inner chamber, and left us to rest. We dried our damp things over a fire, and retired.
Sept. 28.--Off at seven, a lovely morning; a beautiful country, park-like, with plenty of variety. Came to another of the watery places, but not so bad as yesterday. Got one of the small black parrots, called by the natives boisiantsokotra, the only one I have ever seen. Arrived at Andempo, a small sea-side place, with a river to ford, which must be very nasty at times. Arrived at Isaha, a lovely place, where lives a Vazaha, a Corsican, by name Karadinipompe, who had been a sailor, evidently a clever fellow, who was very civil, and asked us to stay with him, but we elected to dine with him only, which we did, and were hospitably entertained. This was another case of a slave-holding wife. This man has slaves as many as he will, but then they are not his but his wife's. He has built his own house, and a nice smack, in which he goes up and down the coast. After dinner we retired to our house, but were attracted by the note of an akobo-an-ala, which Batchelor succeeded in shooting, sub incerta luna. It deserves to be recorded that our entana was brought on to-day by women.
Sept, 29.--A cup of coffee with Le Corse, then a more substantial repast in our lafa. Went on till nine to Tampolo, passing a fine hill to the west, which is called Ambohidaza, after an old Betsimisaraka king of that name, who is buried there. This hill is very like Mutters-moor, above Newton Poppleford. Leaving Tampolo we came to Ampabana, where we met Rainilzafy, a friend of John Ratsihena, just come from the capital, across a long ferry, and along a beautiful country, to the Mananhara. Crossed the ferry, and as our men were anxious not to remain in a very dirty village we gave them the rein, and pressed on to Antalaha, put up at the lafa, and went to deliver our letter to Mr. Ronciere, who received us with much kindness; he is a Bourbonais of good type; I liked him very much. We dined with him, and slept at D'Esbagnac's house, where we were very comfortable.
Sept. 30.--We had dÈjeuner at Mr. Salmone's, a creole of Mauritius, where we were told that the Hovah were preparing for war with the Vazaha; and that "Mr. Little" was Mr. Holder. Got away at twelve, and went on for an hour and a half on the sea-shore, finally resting at a small village called Ambohitrankalzo. Here we were overtaken by a carrier from Sambava, bearing letters from Mr. Woodward and Mr. Rogers, announcing their arrival at Sambava in the barque Sempiternal. This was the vessel which we saw as we were leaving Sambava. It would have saved a world of trouble and some money, if we could have known this, and waited for her arrival. After some consideration I wrote to Mr. Woodward, requesting him to come down and meet me at Angoutry.
Oct. i, Sunday.--Got into Isaha takan, heard singing, and went at once to the "church," and found some fifty persons assembled, who were singing; they had no books, and no one could read! Their assembling was a matter of fanompoana, or State service. They were a low type of people, the women especially having very degraded faces. Batchelor made them a short address. Holder has been here it appears. The scene of the assembly was very curious, and would have been very interesting if we did not know that it was all a matter of compulsion; but that wretched fanompoana takes all the romance out of the matter, and reduces it to a miserable form, and makes the people hate Christianity. A nice boy, called Ruislara, came in and had a long talk with us. After dinner the shell sounded for evensong, and as Batchelor had fever, I put on John to preach. His sermon would have been very intelligible to a Christian congregation, but I do not think these poor people would take much in; e.g., he did not explain who the Serpent was, and assumed a knowledge of the Saviour, whose name the people had probably never heard.
Monday, Oct. 2.--Went on to a place called Ambatofotsy, where is abundance of white marble, as its name implies. The village was very small, and the water bad. We had to wait here several hours, while a messenger went to apprise the commander of our august presence. At last the order was given to proceed, and we went along a bad road for half-an-hour. I saw a ripe citron, and several tanghena trees en route; presently we espied a company of men and dogs, and soon made out that they were soldiers sent to meet us, and the usual ludicrous pantomime ensued. One of our valiant conductors, a great man, had a white wide awake, a tight dress-coat, white trousers, out of the pockets of which protruded a red cotton pocket handkerchief. We proceeded in due order to the sound of the langeroon, passing over some very frail bridges, and soon came in sight of Andranovelona, where the royal flag was flying in our honour. We were met first by a large company of women; then we were conducted to the Rova, and at last got away to our quarters in the suburbs. This is a large town, and if it were not desperately unhealthy, would be the place for a Vazaha. This evening Batchelor and I had a good deal of talk respecting the future. The growing importance of Tamatave seems to point to the necessity of the Bishop residing there, at least for a regular period every year, besides which it would be comparatively easy to visit Vohimare, &c., from thence by watching opportunities.
October 3.--Sent off messengers for letters. A visit from the commander. We told him that we must be off to-morrow, and he said that he would send us down to Angoutry; as we were going so soon, he begged that we would go with him to the Rova, which we did, and he gave us a very fine ox and four bags of rice.
Oct. 4.--A visit from the Lehibe. Went'to say good-bye to the commander; found him very poorly, and perceived that he had water on the chest. Got off at eight; rather a troublesome route; at last we emerged upon the sea-shore, passing some very interesting burial-places of the Betsimisaraka. Got in at eleven. M. D'Espagnac gave us some food. Guisnet came to visit us. The Hollande came in, and we found that the consul had gone to seek us. The Hollande missed the September mail, so that the news of our murder must have been current in England for a month, and at the capital one knows not how long. Dined with D'Espagnac.
Oct. 4.--The Hollande sailed. A message from Woodward, saying that he hoped to arrive to-morrow. Went to see the Betsimisaraka graveyard, found that it was inclosed. The inclosure containing the tribe, outside those who were connected with them. Guisnet at dinner, therefore, of course, much conversation, which turned chiefly on Malagasy politics.
Oct. 5.--Wrote letters; no ship; and no Woodward; but in the middle of dinner he arrived. He gives a very good report of Mr. Tacchi. Miss Gregory and Mrs. Kestell-Cornish are both at Tamatave, for which I am very thankful.
Saturday, Oct. 7.--Matins. Much talk about Mission work with Mr. Woodward. This afternoon the Gled hove in sight.
Sunday, Oct. 8.--Celebration. The Hovah sent for us while we were engaged, and did not come again. A great deal of conversation with Woodward; I like him more and more. He is evidently a good traveller, and if he shows this on his first Malagasy journey, he is likely to become first rate. Batchelor at work over the burial service. Woodward and I took a walk. Evensong. Dinner, at which Batchelor spoke strongly and well to the Creole traders on the rum question.
Monday, Oct. 9.--Woodward started at four. Matins; went on board the Gled. Called on Guisnet, who did his best to dissuade us from going in the Gled.
Tuesday.--Letters. Rather an amusing conversation with D'Espagnac, who told us that on one occasion eighteen Maromita consumed 250 lb. of beef and 100 lb. of rice.
Wednesday, Oct. 11.--Wished Mr. Guisnet good-bye. The captain told us that we should be off at three. Got all ready, but heard that we should not sail till midnight; sent off our luggage, and after dinner wished our kind host good-bye, and went on board. I wrapped myself in my plaid, and slept on deck.
Thursday, Oct. 12.--Breeze light; had to make several tacks to weather Cape East. Got my bed made in one of the boats, but unluckily I chose the bottom of the boat instead of the thwarts, so that I had to lie on my back, with not room to breathe freely. Got some sleep, nevertheless.
Oct. 13.--Buckets of water on deck. We have weathered Cape East, and have a fine breeze, which promises to bring us to Maransetza to-morrow.
Oct. 14.--Hoped to see the town this morning. Vain hope! The wind had changed in the night, and we have not yet weathered Cape Masouala. There is a fine bay just north of Masouala, called Vilany. Got into Antongil bay at mid-day (discovered by Antonio Gil), and saw the land across the bay, and Cape Bellona stretching far to the south; a fine breeze which would have taken us right up if we had had sufficient light.
Oct. 15.--Had to knock about all night; in the morning breeze light. Saw the mouth of the river Volohiny, where the road from Mandritsara (the west) strikes the coast; it is three long days from thence to Mandritsara, and the road rather south of due west. This would make Mandritsara about fifty-two miles from Maransetza. A dead calm till 1 P.M., when a light breeze took us as far as the Island Nosimangabe, which was given by Radama I. to M. Toumagne, consul of the French at Tamatave. Dropped anchor.
Oct. 16.--Weighed in the morning, and after some time the sea breeze took us in. This is a lovely bay; there are four large rivers which disembogue within sight of Maroa--the Tingambala, the Andranofotsy, the Mateva, and the Nahavana; high mountains form a beautiful back ground. Got on shore, and were introduced to a rough-looking lot of Creole traders, who were sitting in an open shed, one of them, M. Le Ventre, spoke English very well. Went with Batchelor to be introduced to M. des Jardins, who has a charming wife, a delicious baby, and a fine boy. He made us accompany him to the sea-shore, where he amused himself with shooting sandpipers and a corbigeau, or curlew--the sandpipers were of various kinds. He also told us of a very remarkable bird which he had got. Determined to sleep on board, but first made arrangements to go the following day up the Andranofotsy to visit Beniowsky's grave.
Oct. 17.--This was hindered by our receiving a message from the Governor, to say that he wished to see us. Got a delicious bath this morning in the leaky boat. Started without breakfast for Isoranevana, the Governor's town, a long pull against tide up a salt lagoon, very beautiful, abounding in birds, and with great variety of shrubs and trees; among others the tanghena tree, now in full bloom, was very abundant. The Governor received us most kindly, and turns out to have been an old member of our church at Tamatave; his wife is a very pleasant woman; altogether I was delighted with our visit. The town is clean and well ordered, the church the largest I have seen, and the commander manifestly a superior man. For some reason, which we failed to discover, the Hovah throw every possible obstacle in the Vazahas' way here. They cannot plant coffee, or develop in any way. Probably the fact that this district is rich, and was once in the hands of the French, makes them especially jealous just here. Just at Maroa itself, where the traders live, it is very unhealthy, but there are healthy places to be found, as, for example, Maleva and Ambodindrofia, the place of Beniowsky's residence. Returned to the village, at which we dropped our captain, and were introduced to a Madame Nau, who received us very kindly, and gave us some beer, and to me one of the Betsimisaraka baskets, which I wanted to buy. There is a large population up this lagoon. Got an excellent breakfast at 3.30.
Oct. 18.--St. Luke. Another delicious bath. Went on shore to wish good-bye, but there was some mistake about our passports, so we had actually to kick our heels on shore till 4 P.M. Wished goodbye, and went on board; a fierce thunderstorm, and a fine breeze. Weighed anchor at 8 P.M.; slept on deck.
Oct. 19.--Fine breeze; off Cape Bellona at 2 P.M. Breeze freshened; sighted St. Mary's at sundown. Got into my boat for sleep.
Oct. 20.--At daybreak we found that we had lost ten miles, and were just inside Point l'Arée. It seemed that in ten minutes the wind had chopped right round, with a heavy squall from the south-west; happily the weather moderated. We were in great discomfort all day, and had to remain in our pyjamas (the great unwashed), both of us rather upset. The captain slept all the afternoon--everything, of course, wet. Made my bed on the deck, and slept deliciously.
Saturday, Oct. 21.--We have hardly made any progress all night, and there is no breeze; but a nice breeze soon sprang up, and we lost sight of St. Mary's, which I do not much care to see again. N.B.--Never go to sleep in the sun with your naked legs exposed (I got a burn to-day, which kept me limping for a fortnight). Bed on deck again.
Sunday, Oct. 22.--Off Foule Point sighted Prune Island--a very quick run in found them all waiting for us. Thank God, safe home at last. Litany; David Johns preached. The consul said that a Te Deum must be sung for our safe arrival, which we arranged for Wednesday, when the church was beautifully decorated, and thronged with Vazaha and Malagasy, the consuls and suite in full dress, and the Hovah authorities, who invited us to a grand banquet at the Battery, and showed us all possible attention. Thus ends our pilgrimage, after a journey of 128 days.
After looking about me at Tamatave, I found that the small-pox was making fearful havoc among the population. The French consul had it very badly, and a Creole lost three children. There seemed to be no one to take any action in the matter, and since it was not possible for Miss Gregory to leave for England, owing to the quarantine at Mauritius, I determined to do what was possible myself, and hearing that a piece of ground, suitable for the purpose, was in the market, I bought it, and established her there. Soon after a Board of Health was formed, and with an unity of action unknown before in Tamatave, the matter was taken up. When I left Miss Gregory had five patients from the natives, who before were sent out to perish in the forest.
On November 11, Mr. Crotty was married by me to Miss Manning, a lady who has won all our hearts by her unfailing tact and good temper; we gave them their breakfast, and sent them off with all the honours to spend a few honey days at Mahasoa.
On the following Friday I started for the capital, spending Sunday at Andevoranto, and arrived at the capital without further adventure on Friday, November 24.
The excitement about our reported death appears to have been extreme in the capital, and the false report was very generally credited. I am persuaded that it was got up by the Lehibe for political purposes.