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CH A P.

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ISLE DE

is Fort Louis, which is well fortified. According to an enumeration, in 1776, the Isle de Bourbon contained 6340 whites, and 26,175 black slaves, chiefly employed in agri- France, culture. The population of the Ise de France then amount

Population. ed to pretty nearly the same numbers of whites and blacks respectively.

273. The productions of these two islands are much the Spices.. fame. But I have great reason to believe, that a very material improvement has, by this time, taken firm root in both. For, during my stay at Paris, in 1787, I was informed that M. Ceré procured from Ceylon, and planted in the Ifle de France, of which he was governor, 3000 cinnamon trees, and 10,416 clove trees, 18 of which last soon advanced in growth; also 18 nutmeg trees, 10 of which have since produced 1088 fine nutmegs, so ripe that the wind shook them down. From these plants, 60 others have been produced, besides 20 which were partly distributed in the Island, and partly sent to the neighbouring Island of Bourbon, and to Cayenne, in S. America. In 1784 there were in the nursery 124 more young plants, of which 20 were ready to be sent abroad. In June 1785, 10 young trees, in the Ifle de France, yielded 800 nutmegs, and 9 others had about 500 far advanced. The same year 24 were sent to Bourbon and 260 were planted in the nursery.-In 1786, the Dutch, in the true spirit of monopoly (see § 112 note) sent a vagabond to the Isle de France, to destroy these plantations, by corrupting the nursery men. But prudence, or rather cunning, is not always combined with villainy. The plot was timely discovered, and doubtless

heads, and 5 shillings for those of monkeys. A friend of mine tells me he once received, in behalf of a black watchman, 15 shillings.cur. for rat's heads.

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X.

CHA P. would have drawn a deserved punishment on the fellow

who was charged with it's execution, if he had not made
his escape.--It is no wonder, however, that the Dutch are
jealous of their monopoly of spices; for, when I received
the foregoing information, I was assured that their trade in
these articles brings them in 18,000,000 of livres Tournois,
or about £750,000 fter. annually.

MADAGAS

CAR.

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rithing eltablishments there.

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274. “ The French," says the compiler of the Atlas mari. timus et commercialis *,“ have carried the discoveries in Madagascar to the highest perfection, both on the coast and

in the inland parts. The following brief account, by one of Former fiou- their governors, seems the best yet published.”—

ple have had a settlement on this island, ever since 1622,
and we have now, not only a peaceable poffeffion, but
several well fortified houses, on the coast, and flourishing
plantations within the land. Our principal strength is at
the southernmost point of the eaft lide of the island, called
Fort Dauphin, with a good garrison. It is fituated in lat.
25° 6' $. We have since reduced a confiderable part of the
island, the natives being, at peace with us, and

very

much
pleased with our religion alfa; fa that several of them are
converted to the Christian faith.”
275. About the year 1654, the chief seat of their

power
was transferred from Fort Dauphin to the Isle de France
and Bourbon. But they have still retained poffeffion of

the former; and have made several attempts to extend, Colony at or to regain, their acquisitions in Madagascar. In 1767, a tempted in

colony was attempted on that island, under M. de Maudave.

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1761.

* Printed, London 1728.

" But

c H A P.

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CARE

* But it was soon perceived that this enterprize was founded on false principles; and it was abandoned, from the impossibility of affording the advances of every kind, which M. de Maudave required for the new colonists*." That the enterprize was founded on false principles, is far from being improbable; and, from the minister's own words, just quoted, we may fafely infer that it was given up from false æconomy. We shall make this inference with the more confidence, when we consider the feeble support given by the court of France to their next attempt to make an establishment on Madagascar.

276. The attempt alluded to was made in 1772, under the Benyowsky's conduct of the Count de Benyowfky, a Polish nobleman prize, in 1772 who, whether we consider the vigour and capacity of his mind, or the astonishing variety and danger of his adventures, must certainly be ranked

among

the most extraordinary characters that any age or nation has produced. My limits will not contain the minute particulars of the expedition, and, if they could, I am not sure that I should insert them; rather wishing to stimulate than to gratify the reader's curiosity, relative to that interesting piece of biography, the Memoirs of the Count de Benyowsky, translated from the Count's own MSS. and from authentic, official documents, chiefly by the editor, the learned and ingenious Mr. Nicholson. 277. I must therefore content myself with stating a few Is not pro

perly fitted principal facts, relative to this extraordinary enterprize. In

out.

* See the letter from the French minister M. de Boynes, to Mell. De Ternay and Maillart, dated March 19, 1773, in " Memoirs and Travels of the Count de Benyowsky,” e vols. 4to. from the text of which, together with the preface of the able editor, and the documents and vouchers annexed, this short sketch is chiefly compiled,

1772,

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the govern

ment and merchants of the Ile de

France.

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1772, the Count prevailed on the court of France to enter
into his views; and he was accordingly placed at the head
of the expedition, with a corps of 300 volunteers under
his command. But his present supplies of every kind were
evidently less calculated to insure success, in an undertak-
ing of national magnitude, than to inspire the Count with
confidence in the fair ministerial promises he received, of
ample future support. In the mean time, the ministry,
thought proper to refer him to the government of the Idle of
France, who were ordered to furnish him with fhips and
provisions, and, in every respect, to co-operate with him in

the undertaking. Opposed by

278. In September 1773, the Count landed on the Ife of France, there to experience a succession of the most mortifying disappointments. Whether he there betrayed any fymptoms of that ambition which, though it does not appear to have been ill directed, was certainly an ingredient in his character; or whether, as seems far more probable, a vile spirit of intrigue, which, as I myself have experienced, was perfectly characteristic of the former French place. men, tinctured the characters of the governor and intendant, I shall not presume to decide. Neither shall I attempt to appreciate the degree of influence which the evident aversion of the jealous traders of the Isle of France to any establishment at Madagascar, had on the minds of the government of that colony. I shall only mention the simple fact, as established by the proofs before me, that they were, from the beginning, extremely adverse to the views of the Count.

279. After great delay, and a tardiness scarcely distinin Madagar.

guishable from the most insulting opposition, and which, in
the servants of an arbitrary government, seems unaccount-

able

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Lands at last

car.

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MADAGAS

CAR.

able on any supposition favourable to the French ministry, C H A P.
the Count finally took leave of his dilatory coadjutors, on the
2d of February 1774; and, on the 14th, he arrived, with
his troop, not 300 effective, in the Bay of Antongil, on the
N. E. coast of Madagascar.

280. Before the 5th of September, the Count had con- Builds fort
structed all the necessary works on the lands which he had road.
purchased, including a respectable fort and a road 6 French
leagues (about 21 English miles) in length, and 24 feet in
breadth. His means were certainly very slender, and, un-
aided by his addrefs among the natives, would have been
quite inadequate. They were, however, greatly superior
to those with which, as we shall hereafter fee, Mr. Beaver
lately performed similar wonders at Bulama.

281. On the last mentioned day (September 5th 1774) he Distributes began to distribute grounds among his troops, for the com- digs a canal. mencement of a vigorous cultivation, on which he seems all along to have been intent.-From the 14th to the 16th of February 1775, he was again employed in distributing lands of a superior quality; for they naturally produced sugarçanes, cotton, indigo and tobacco.--He had already found means to engage about. 6000 of the native blacks, whom he found both willing and expert labourers, to join the harbour with the neighbouring river, by a canal, above an English mile and a half in length, a work which they actually performed in four days; and, on the oth of March, we find him agreeing with two chiefs, for about the same number of their men, to make a road towards Angontzi, 63. English miles in length.

282. Among his other difficulties, the Count unfortunate. Opposed to ly had to struggle with the hostility of some of the chiefs.

supported by Their jealousy of independence, was originally excited by others.

that

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fome chiefs,

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