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occasion he was employed by his superiors to compel some people to pay a fine, simply because, in repairing a battery, they had appeared somewhat discontented and sullen, and had not, in fact, shouted the national sound of joyful gratification while performing their laborious and unwelcome task! Was it unnatural that a man possessing any of the common feelings of humanity should long to escape from the fangs of such an intolerant and merciless government? The only wonder is, that so many should so long submit to such cruelty and tyranny. Could they place confidence in one another, and rally round a leader of common sense and independent mind, the galling yoke would be instantly burst from their necks.
Still, Ramiandrahasina had no plan nor intention of escaping or attempting to escape from the country, till some time after he had aided in the escape of the refugees. How kindly and effectually he assisted them has been already mentioned, and need not be repeated.
It was some time after the fugitives were gone that he found their escape was a subject of conversation with the traders and some of the natives at Tamatave, the latter of whom intimated to him rather broadly their thoughts on the affair. He then perceived that the only plan left to him of preserving his life and that of his nephew (James) would be to escape to Mauritius before they might be apprehended. He accordingly engaged a passage for himself and his nephew, and reached the Mauritius in November, 1838, having paid the expenses from his own resources, as well as the passage of two of his attached servants who could not be induced to separate from him.
THE CHRISTIANS DESIRE TO ESCAPE.
Since his arrival, he has been employed by Mr. Baker, the Society's Missionary printer at Mauritius, where his Christian character remains unblemished, and his time is usefully occupied in acquiring such knowledge in the arts of printing and bookbinding as may be, it is hoped, of
very essential service in the future stages of the mission, when an entrance into Madagascar shall be again provided.
It should perhaps be stated, that in escaping from Madagascar, the Christians were but accomplishing their own expressed and most earnest wishes. It is not that their European friends had urged them to the measure. To these belongs neither the commendation nor the censure attaching to the plan. The following is a deeply affecting and interesting extract from a joint letter, on the subject of escaping from the country, written by a considerable number of natives, and addressed to the Rev. D. Johns, dated 28th July, 1838.
We visit you with a letter, for this, which we now hold in our hands, will come to your hands. We received your letter sent us by our mutual friend, Joseph. You say you desire to see us, and that though our path be difficult, it is the road to eternal life. Thanks be to God for having given you strength to declare this path to us, and for giving us an ear opened to hear. We can now say as the Samaritans did : “Now we believe, not because of thy saying, for we have heard him ourselves and know that this is the Christ, the Saviour of the world.'
“ When Christian saw Apollyon coming to meet him, he began to tremble and hesitated whether to stand his ground or return; but considering he had no armour for his back, and that turning back might give his enemy an advantage in piercing him, he resolved to stand. This expresses our state of mind.
“We have also this to say; you have been the means of saving our souls from the second death. We cannot hesitate, then, to tell you our temporal circumstances; for, as the Saviour said, 274
THE CHRISTIANS DESIRE TO ESCAPE.
• Who is our father, mother, sister, or brother, but those who hear the word of God and keep it?' We therefore explain to you what our condition is, that, if possible, you may do something to relieve us. We say, if possible, for our Saviour himself employed that expression in his prayer to his Father: If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.'
“ That you may know our wish, read Matt. x. 23, · When they persecute you in this city, flee ye to another;' and 1 Sam. xxvii. 1, 2; David said, “There is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me to seek me any more in any coast of Israel,' &c. We leave it with you to decide, for you know best, whether you can do anything for us in that way or not.
“P.S. Please to send us some Spelling Books, and farewell till death."
To such an appeal there could be but one response a resolution to assist them in effecting their escape.
The attempt was made; and on behalf of a few it has happily proved the means of preserving a portion of the “leaven, by which a large part of Madagascar is yet, it may be hoped, to be leavened.
THE BUSINESS IS OVER.'
From the Embarkation of the Refugees at Tamatave to their
Arrival in England. -Reception there, and Residence to the present time.-Condition of the Christians remaining in Madagascar.—Letter from the Refugees in England to their suffering Brethren in Madagascar.-Conclusion.
No sooner were our friends safely on board the vessel destined to convey them from the shores of Madagascar to Mauritius, than the captain congratulated them on their escape
in the well known native phrase, most expressive and heart-cheering to a Malagasy, “ Efa Kabary," 6 the business is over,”- “ 'tis all safe.” They were now beyond the reach of their pursuers and the grasp of the Queen. Filled with indescribable emotions of devout gratitude, they asked the captain if they might be permitted on board his ship to unite in offering a song of praise to God for their deliverance. Their request was immediately complied with, and the captain and crew listened with evident pleasure to this simple but sincere expression of their devout feelings.
The vessel was bound in the first instance to the island of St. Mary, lying a few miles off the north-eastern coast of Madagascar, opposite to the Bay of Antongil. They remained there ten or twelve days, and received great kindness from many of the French residents.
They reached Port Louis, Mauritius, on Sunday, 14th of October, 1838, were kindly permitted to land at once,
MALAGASY IN MAURITICS.
without any local or official impediments, and found themselves in the midst of those who delighted to express their sympathy with them, and to show them hospitality. Joseph suffered severely from an attack of fever, which lasted about a fortnight, during which time he was promptly and gratuitously attended by Dr. Montgomery, a medical friend in Port Louis.
It is believed that there are not fewer than 10,000 of the natives of Madagascar living in Mauritius, most of whom were either originally imported as slaves, or brought there by ships as “prize negroes,” or are the descendants of such. They now form a valuable and important class of free labourers on the island. Many of them came daily to visit our Christian refugees, and expressed the kindliest feelings towards them. Our friends embraced the opportunity of conversing with them on the great subjects of religion, and could not be otherwise than gratified and encouraged by the attention with which they were listened to.
The expenses attending their passage from Madagascar to Mauritius were kindly and spontaneously met by the Christian friends of the latter island, among whom it is but just to specify Colonel Jones and his Lady, Colonel Buckler, Colonel Haslewood, Captain Fitzgerald, T. S. Kelsey, Esq., Rev. L. Banks, Rev. J. Le Brun, Mr. Icery, Mr. Baker, and many others; and especially Lieutenant Turner, by whom the sum of nearly 901. sterling was collected for the above objects, and to assist in meeting the expenses of their voyage to England.
After remaining some time in Mauritius, it was suggested and recommended by several pious and intelligent