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consisted of a gross debaucbery, and kept us on the watch much of the night. So, as soon as there was light enough to see our steps, I gave directions for our departure.
15th.—We are all in a bad humour-some of us from want of sleep, others from having forsaken a pleasant pastime for a journey full of difficulties. First, we had to cross the Beferona Brook fourteen times, as it runs directly through the valley, leaving only a path first on one side and then on the other side of it. Then we had to climb up another mountain similar to the former, but higher, for again we observed the sea from its summit, while beneath us the village bad disappeared in the thick bushes we had left, to which the beams of the early sun had given the appearance of an extensive sheet of slimy water
It is after passing this mountain that the forest of Analamazota commences, which requires two days to cross. The roads are abominable, and especially in the rainy season. It is almost always necessary to mount or descend from the slippery roads, often made worse by roots of trees and rolling stones; the lower grounds, receptacles of water which cannot escape, often take the bearers up to the middle.
After crossing the two first chains of mountains, when passing through the little village of Iribitra, we came to a magnificent torrent, already swollen by the rains; and we crossed it by means of the projecting rocks in its bed with some difficulty, after using great precaution, for here utter loss awaits him wbo loses his footing. After this we passed the village of Ambavanikasa, and we arrived at the crest of the mountain, commanded by an enormous rock, forming a peak seen from a great distance, and which is known by the name of the Queen's Rock.
After descending the western slope, we crossed the little river Analamasota by wading up to the middle; and shortly after arrived at the village of the same name, situated in the midst of a magnificent plain, surrounded on all sides by forests.
This village appears to form the limit of the Betanimen nation, whose territory we entered at Andevorante. There is nothing in it remarkable, excepting its desirable position in the midst of the forest to which it lends its name. Its distance from Beferona is a forced stage for the traveller, and he generally finds there some provisions, as rice, fruits, &c., but it is one of those places where these things must not be reckoned on. I take care in the course of my journey to provide two days' allowance of rice for my bearers every time I can do so. They carry their rations in their bamboos without any inconvenience. In spite, however, of my precaution of having always twenty-four hours' provisions with us, I once found myself short when returning from Tananarivo. This was at the village of Voizanbar, where we were detained two days by a sudden swelling of the Andramafana. The inhabitants, who did not number above thirty, had scarcely provisions sufficient for the journey when we were obliged to stay among them. It was impossible to induce them to go and look for provisions for us in their stores, which were on the other side af the river, and we were obliged on the second day to content ourselves with a stinted quantity of unripe potatoes.
It is in this village, which appears besides to be behind all the rest in everything, that all the people set to in a thunderstorm beating on a wall of packages to territy and drive away, according to the ideas of the natives, the evil spirit that attends thunder and lightning. To me it seems they might as well agree that this was for the purpose of diverting their attention from danger, often real, that accompanies these storms in a country so mountainous and with a soil of so metaliferous a nature as that of Madagascar.
At Anamalazota an officer was presented to me from Tamatave, who was travelling by easy journeys to the capital to sell some merchandize. I invited them both to dine with me. A bottle of champagne appearing with the desert on the mat which served us for a table, excited the conversation, for, being tired, it had become rather slow. This officer had been some time affected with the malady called diabetes, and was anxious to know if I could afford him relief. But I was unable to give him advice, for this was the first time I had ever heard of the malady; but a few days afterwards a second instance of it was brought to my notice.
16th. The second part of the forest which we had to cross to reach Ampatsipothe, was perhaps worse than the first, and caused us quite as much trouble. An hour before arriving at the village we had to cross a deepish stream by means of the trunk of a tree which was standing a yard deep in water; and at 10h. we left the forest for good, after crossing one of those dangerous morasses called prairies flottantes.
The surface of this stagnant water was covered with weeds, interlaced with each other, totally preventing us from attempting to cross it rapidly; and if, unfortunately, we placed our feet on a part less substantial than it should be, they sunk down and became entangled with long slimy roots; and it commonly happens that cattle get into these morasses and disappear, and contribute by the decay of their carcases to increase the infectious gases which are disengaged from
Having got clear of this difficulty, we had the satisfaction of finding ourselves on a beaten path, which followed the side of a tract of cleared land covered with ferns, while beneath us was a ravine, entirely devoted to the culture of rice. The brilliant verdure of this, with the little villages of the labourers, and all lighted up by a warm sun, soon made us forget the fatigues and difficulties of the forest of Analamazota, and I alighted from my takon as much for a change as for the relief of my bearers, who had to travel on this very narrow path.
Half an hour befor arriving at Moramanga I found before me on a sudden one of the most captivating scenes that I had ever witnessed. From the side of a mountain, the different slopes of which were co. vered with verdure, there lay before me à vast plain, magnificently
lighted up and lost to the view in the horizon on the right and left, limited by two mountains closely approaching each other, and so distinctly lighted that all their minutest details could be distinguished; whilst the second, much the higher of the two, lifted its huge summit to the sky, to all appearance insurmountable.
The village of Moramanga, standing on the slope, appeared within musket range, while other dwelling houses were scattered over the plain; and as Thursday was the market-day of this centre of population, we had the satisfaction of seeing at once the movements of the merchants and their customers, collected on a point of the plain to which the various routes lead from the environs.
It was the province of Emirne, which is distinguished above all others by its extent and the number of travellers that frequent it. Along the whole length of the valley is seen the yellow and red ribbons of ochre, now winding over the nearest mountains and then disappearing at their summits, only to reappear on the slopes of a more distant range, as lighted by the sun like golden threads, until lost in the blue tints of the distant horizon.
The name of this extensive plain is Ankaky, and it is said to continue as far as Foule Point. The mountains nearest to it are those of Sfodi; and on the horizon may be distinguished those of Angavec, the natural limit of the province of Emirne on the Ankova country.
We learn at Moramanga that most of the presents brought for Radama by the English mission from Mauritius remain at this village; although there is nothing outrageous in their size, two months have passed in bringing them to this place from Tamatave.
Radama, in order to increase his popularity, has abolished the established task. journey, which had been submitted to from time immemorial by the villages on the route to Tananarivo. The officers, therefore, who were charged with the duty of bringing the presents to their destination have a plausible excuse for their delay, and they do not seem to trouble themselves much about the execution of the orders they have received.
17th. We crossed the plain of rich pasture, which in all probability serves for the use of their horses. The soil is not damp or swampy, except towards the middle, where the little stream of Sapase, near the village of Andronokobaka, is crossed upon a bridge of poles; the village being on a hill at the foot of which the road passes.
A little before arriving at Ambatovina the country resumes its irregular features as far as Andakana, a village situated on the borders of the Mangour, where two or three Hova soldiers are charged to convey travellers across in canoes, which the inhabitants of the village are obliged to provide, without any other recompense than a gratuitous present from those whom they carry over.
This River Mangour is embanked, deep and rapid, at least in the season when we crossed it, and is the most important that we met on our way to Tananarivo. It may be about fifty yards wider than the Andakana, and, like all the great rivers of the island, has the
character of being full of ferocious alligators. It waters the country so high above the level of the sea that it is not surprising the navigation of it should be impeded by falls.
Scarcely had we crossed the Mangour than we came on a plain thrown into a confused condition by earthquakes of an old date, in the midst of which stood the village of Andramalasa, just clear of the mountains of Ankaye, where may be perceived the first entrenched grounds of the Hovas. These are generally squares of some twenty yards, surrounded by a deep ditch and perched on the summits of isolated hills, some of which have the remains of dwelling houses in them.
Having crossed this chain the little brook of Ambodinifody is reached, which is crossed on the trunk of a tree. Then, after two hours' walking over a plain, occasionally broken by abrupt hills, we arrived at Ambodinangave, at the bottom of a basin formed by the famous mountains of Angave, the peaks of which rise around us. The valley forms one extensive field of rice; in the midst a small rivulet of water meanders and enlivens the landscape. The mountains around us are not accessible on this side, except by pathways which zigzag up their sides; but no beast of burden, however lightly laden, could ever ascend by them.
We pass the rest of the day and the night in a dwelling which M. Laborde has here, and we were reinforced by some fifty bearers, which Mlle. Juliette had sent to meet us as soon as she heard of our proximity to Tananarivo.
18th.—The reinforcement of bearers which we bad received yesterday enabled us to scale quickly the first slope of the mountains. The opposite side, much less steep and partially wooded, was connected with two or three other mountains, which were as easily crossed, before we gained the Angava country, properly so called. All this part was dotted with little hills crowned with square forts like those already mentioned ; in which, if an enemy were lodged, he would defy their attacks and, especially in certain places, could easily stop the communication along the narrow road, full of obstacles, that I followed.
All the villages of the Angave country are surrounded by ditches, cut vertically, two to three yards deep and as many wide. Most of them have a wall in them of hard clay tolerably thick; and one often finds at some distance similar ditches as protection, and which no doubt are intended to serve as a covered way to their defenders.
Towards the middle of the day we had quitted the direct road to Tananarivo to pass by Soatsimanapiavana, which, without adding much to our journey, had the advantage of affording us a comfortable lodging, often occupied by M. Laborde under the government of the old queen; and moreover, what was not to be despised, the temporary company of three young Frenchmen, who had established themselves here to wait for the end of the winter.
M.M. Theodore and Paul de Cambour had left Reunion, with one of their friends, two months previously, to come and obtain from Radama the grant of some ground, on which they proposed to plant the sugar-cane. After having passed some time at Tananarivo without without terminating to their satisfaction the business on which they had come, they had returned to Soatsimanapiavana, with the intention of not returning to the coast until the fine season would admit of ships coming there without danger. These three gentlemen passed their time either in riding the horses which they had brought with them or in shooting, and never passed a day without abundant provision of game. They had experienced an ample share of fever, but their youth and temperament soon recovered them, and every day they commenced life afresh without care for the days that had preceded it.
At Soatsimanapiavana we had a striking instance of what energy and perseverance can effect. Having only at his disposal the raw materials supplied by the island and the native soldiers, without the slightest notion of what he would have them do, M. Laborde, without any other information than that which he could obtain from manuals, bad made masons, stone-cutters, carpenters,—had taught them what they knew nothing about, to work lime, to make bricks, to work stone for arches, carpenters' work for houses,-had made them construct large buildings to be used as workshops, then large furnaces for melting iron ore, crucibles, and, in fact, all the materials and tools necessary for a cannon foundry.
After this M. Laborde turns hydraulic engineer, so as to find a moving power to work his drills, gimlets, &c. He makes his men form terraces,-ponds he transforms into reservoirs,-channels of water are formed at high levels, and these lead it with sufficient force to turn three large hydraulic wheels at his establishment, which set in motion all his machinery. M. Laborde has thus contrived, entirely by his own resources, supplied by the island, to produce pieces of artillery of a respectable calibre, mortars, and shot and shell measuring twelve inches in diameter.
He bas also added to these works a glass factory, and has instructed the Hovas how to use the very pure sand with which the island abounds. In fact, a very handsome establishment has been formed for large mirrors to be produced by native art.
These different works belonging to the state, the workmen are all Hovas soldiers, who form a military town, where they live with their families. The activity and business which resulted had made Soatsimanapiavana a choice abode for the aristocratic Hovas under the late Queen, who was frequently there for relaxation from the ennui of the capital. Her son Rakolo, now Radama II., other members of his family, and the principal persons of his court, have now their residences there.
At the present time the new King, in order to impart a desire for agricultural pursuits into his army, has caused these useful establishments to be abandoned, as well as the cannon foundry, the utility of