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by order of the French
C HA P. tal concealment of deeds, of which the witnesses' are necef
sarily numerous, cannot be effected, even by an arbitrary
at Paris, in 1787. But this did not satisfy my curiosity, reminiltry,
specting the fate of so distinguished a friend to Africa. I
298. These qualities shine conspicuous in every page of fcriptive of the Count's history; which also exhibits marks of other vir
tues, more to be regarded, than the vague assertions of per-
CH A P.
former attempts in (or rather on) Madagascar, and his re-
Some may think, that I have commented rather too The condu? freely on the conduct of the French ministry. Far, far be Ministry
feems unjuftiA a 2
of the French
CHA P. it from me, to imitate the immediate destroyers of Ben
yowsky, whoever they were, by insulting the mighty fallen (See § 296 at the end). But it was absolutely necessary that the failure of this colonial enterprize should be traced to its true source, and not attributed as usual, to the climate, the constant excuse for European perfidy and violence, within the tropics, especially in Africa. The benevolent professions of the ministry towards the natives of Madagascar, may have once been sinceret; but ministerial benevolence is evanescent, and, in modern practice, must always give way to expediency. It was expedient for the French ministry, to change their system, respecting Madagascar. It is also expedient, or convenient (see Johnson's Dict.) that, if possible, a distinction should be established between the minister and the man. Accordingly it is allowed, by fome, that certain ministers, whose plans have been pernicious to mankind, were yet very good sort of men; and my opinion of M. de S. though as good as it should be, upon the whole, would be much improved, were it possible for me to conceive, that an arbitrary minister could deviate into evidently crooked paths, without carrying the man along with him. Benyowsky showed the minister what he should have done, rather than violate a sacred principle.—The Count dared to be consistent, and resigned: but he was a foldier, not a mi. nister.--Yet I sincerely wish it were credible, that the French ministry were not concerned in the foul treatment of Benyowsky. But truth and Africa are more dear to me
+ I am sorry that I happened to omit, in its proper place, that M. de S. in his dispatch to the Count, of April 6th 1777 (and which the Count could not have received in Madagascar) expresses much concern that he should have lost so many men in filling up a marsh, a circumstance which the Count also mentions in his journal.
than the reputation, either of the Count or the Ministry: CH, A P. and I fear that their conduct to him cannot be even politically justified, without impeaching their wisdom.---The American troubles were coeval with the Madagascar colony. The ministry dropped the substance, and snatched at the shadow. Neglecting Madagascar, with her valuable and increasing productions * and her three millions of docile and ingenious people, † they lurked behind the mask of profeffions, for, what they thought, an opportunity of humbling Great Britain. The consequences to France have been already hinted at. But Britain, disencumbered of her financial burden, and having her strength concentrated, rose superior to the blow, and has since resumed, and, if undirturbed by war, was long likely to maintain, her respectabi. lity among the nations. Her astonishing restoration, I think, ought, in candour, to be partly ascribed to the dis, tinguished ability and industry of the statesman who has
Having, under the preceding articles, enumerated the most valuable productions of the continent of Africa, it did not seem necessary to dwell on those of Madagascar; which are very much the same. But, as the natives are far less har. ?.. raffed by the flave-trade, and upon the whole, more civilized; the produce of their labour is proportionably more abundant. This is evident from the great quantities and value of provisions, &c. exported and supplied to shipping, by the Count. . See the statement of charge and discharge above inserted.
A respectable merchant in London, of great experience in the French East India commerce, assures me, that the cotton of the eaft coast of Madagascar.is fully equal to that of Bourbon ; and that a great part of the cotton which comes to Encope, under the name of Bourbon cotton, is either smuggled from the East Indies or brought regularly from Madagascar into Bourbon, where it is stored and repacked for exportation to Europe. For an account of the Bourbon coiton see ♡ 271.
+ See Memoirs, vol. 2, p. 397.' This, however, can be but a vague conjecture respecting the population.
CHA P. since conducted her finances. What should I say more of
statesmen and of their abilities or infirmities, but “ Alas !
C. Of Goou
300. The Dutch East India ships began to frequent the
Cape, about the year 1600; but it was not till 1650, that Van Riebeck Van Riebeck, a surgeon, first discovered the advantages that colony there. would result from forming a regular colony there. On re
turning to Holland, he presented a memorial on the fubject,
in the representatives of joint stock companies, and for
* This sketch of the colony at the Cape is compiled from Mortimer's Diet. of Trade and Comm. 1776.—Menzel's Beschreibung von Cap de Bonne Esper, 1785.
-Das merkwurdigste aus den besten Beschreibungen von Cap 1787.-Tableau de Commerce, 1787.-Forster's Voy. round the World, 1777, and 'Sparrman's Voy. to the Cape of Good Hope, Perth edition.