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ELLIS, WILLIAM, an English missionary, born in London, August 29, 1794 ; died at Hoddeston, Herts, June 9, 1872. His father was a poor man, and being unable to provide for his son's education, apprenticed him to a gardener. The boy took great interest in his work and acquired a knowledge of the cultivation of plants, which stood him in good stead in later years. While in the South Sea Islands he taught the islanders to raise many fruits and plants, which later proved a source of material wealth to them. In 1816 he went as a missionary to Polynesia, where he remained for eight years. After his return to England, he published a Narrative of a Tour through Hawaiï (1826); Polynesian Researches (1828); a History of Madagascar (1838), and a History of the London Missionary Society (1844). Between 1853 and 1856 he went thrice to Madagascar for the London Missionary Society, and in 1858 published Three Visits to Madagascar. He had the honor of setting up the first printing-press in the South Sea Islands. In 1825 Ellis and his wife arrived in New Bedford, Mass., on a sailing vessel from the South Seas, and gave descriptive lectures of the people and his work among them. In 1867 he published Madagascar Revisited, and A Vindication of the South Sea Missions from the Misrepresentation of Otto von Kotzebue.



Few of the general indications of the peculiar customs of the Malagasy are more remarkable than their places of sepulture. Most of their graves are family tombs or vaults. In their construction, much time and labor, and sometimes considerable property are pended. The latter is regulated by the wealth of the proprietor. In erecting a tomb, the first consideration is the selection of an eligible spot. Publicity and elevation are their two principal requisites. Sometimes a tomb is placed immediately in front of the house of the person by whom it is built, or it occupies a conspicuous place by the road-side. At other times, tombs are built on an elevation in the midst of the capital, or village, or where two or more roads meet, and very frequently they are built on the outskirts of the towns and villages. The site having been chosen, a large excavation is made in the earth, and the sides and roof of the vault are formed of immense slabs of stone. Incredible labor is often employed in bringing these slabs from a distance to the spot where the grave is to be constructed. When they are fixed in their appointed positions, each side or wall of a vault or tomb, six or seven feet high, and ten or twelve feet square, is often formed of a single stone of the above dimensions. A sort of subterranean room is thus built ; which, in some parts of the country, is lined with rough pieces of timber. The stones are covered with earth to the height of from fifteen to eighteen inches. This mound of earth is surrounded by a curb of stone-work, and a second and third parapet of earth is formed within the lower curb or coping, generally from twelve to eighteen inches in height, each diminishing in extent as they rise one above another, forming a flat pyramidal mound of earth, composed of successive terraces with stone facing and border, and resembling, in appearance, the former heathen temples of the South Sea islanders, or the pyramidal structures of the aborigines of South America : the summit of the grave is ornamented with large pieces of rose or white quartz. The stone-work exhibits, in many instances, very good workmanship, and reflects

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great credit on the skill of the native masons. Some of these rude structures are stated to be twenty feet in width, and fifty feet long. The large slabs used in forming the tombs, as described already, are usually of granite or syenite. The natives have long known how to detach blocks of stone from the mountain mass by means of burning cow-dung on the part they wish to remove and dashing cold water along the line on the stone they have heated. Having been thus treated, the stone easily separates in thick layers, and is forced up by means of levers. “Odies," charms, are employed

“" in marking out the desired dimensions of the slab, and to their virtue is foolishly attributed the splitting of the stone, though they well know that not all the "odies" in the kingdom would split one stone, if the usual heat were not applied. When the slab is detached, bands of straw are fastened round it, to prevent breakage in the removal. Strong ropes are attached to the slab, and, amidst the boisterous vociferations of the workmen, it is dragged away from the quarry.. Sometimes five or six hundred men are employed in dragging a single stone. A man usually stands on the stone, acting as director or pioneer. He holds a cloth in his hand, and waves it, with loud incessant shouts, to animate those who are dragging the ponderous block. At his shout they pull in concert.

Holy water is also sprinkled on the stone as a means of facilitating its progress, till at length, after immense shouting, sprinkling, and pulling, it reaches its destination. When the tomb is erected for a person deceased, but not yet buried, no noise is made in dragging the stones for its construction. Profound silence is regarded as indicating the respect of the parties employed. . The entrance to the tomb is covered by a large upright block of stone.-History of Madagascar.

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ELLWOOD, THOMAS, an English miscellaneous writer, born at Crowell, Oxfordshire, in 1639; died at Amersham, March 1, 1713. He was of a wealthy family in Oxfordshire, but having while quite young become a member of the Society of Friends, he was disowned by his father, and was several times imprisoned. In 1662, through the recommendation of Dr. Pennington, he was given the position of reader to John Milton, then blind and who always kept a man to read to him, generally some gentleman's son, desirous of improving himself in classical literature. It was at Ellwood's suggestion that Milton wrote his second great epic poem, Paradise Regained. He had left the service of Milton on account of illness, and after his recovery suffered a term of imprisonment for his religious views and then went to visit - Milton at his residence at Giles Chalfont. The great poet, during the course of an ordinary conversation, passed him the manuscript of Paradise Lost and asked him to read it at his leisure and return it with his critical opinion. When he brought home the manuscript Ellwood freely and modestly answered his question, and added : “ Thou hast said much here of Paradise lost; but what hast thou to say of Paradise found? Milton made no reply but sat mute. At a subsequent meeting of the two men in London after Paradise Regained had been published, the author acknowledged his indebtedness for the subject to Ellwood. He wrote several controversial works, a Digest of the historical portions of the Old and New Testaments, a poem entitled Davideis, and an Autobi. ography, published after his death. In his Autobiography Ellwood gives several incidents of his intercourse with the poet.



Mr. Milton received me courteously, as well for the sake of Dr. Paget who introduced me, as of Isaac Pennington who recommended me, to both of whom he bore a good respect; and, having inquired divers things of me, with respect to my former progressions in learn. ing, he dismissed me to provide myself with such accommodations as might be most suitable to my future studies. I went therefore and took a lodging near to his house, as conveniently as I could; and, from thenceforward, went every day in the afternoon, except on the first day of the week; and sitting by him in his diningroom, read to him such books in the Latin tongue as he pleased to hear me read. At my first sitting to read to him, observing that I used the English pronunciation, he told me if I would have the benefit of the Latin tongue-not only to read and understand Latin authors, but to converse with foreigners, either abroad or at home-I must learn the foreign pronunciation. The Latin thus spoken seemed as different from that which was delivered as the English generally speak it, as if it was another tongue. My master, perceiving with what earnest desire I pursued learning, gave me not only all the encouragement, but all the help he could ; for, having a curious ear, he understood, by my tone, when I understood what I read, and accordingly would stop me, examine me, and open the most difficult passages to me.

Some little time before I went to Aylesbury prison, I was desired by my quondam master, Milton, to take a

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