Moderate Breezes with Rain in the Middle part. Wind EBN, ESE, and SE. The Thermometer from 79° to 82°. Carpenters still employed fixing additional stands for the Plants in the Cabbin. Supplies as usual.
Three Men in the sick list. One with the Flux, one with the Cramp and the other recovering from the Rheumatism.
To day I had the pleasure to see all the Pots for the Plants completed which amounted to 774. Twelve of which were Vees, and in this 7 Plants were shifted owing to their being in a dying state. Some others will take the same turn, and these will be supplied by other fruits.
My passage to Tettahah was with out any occurrence worth mentioning. I at first put into that part next to Oparre where a great number of people were collected to see me. As the cause of my visit to this place was to see the Bullock that was on some part of the district, I desired Tynah to enquire after it, and he sent a servant he had with him, on shore for that purpose. Teppahoo the Cheif did not appear, but a message was sent to me to know if I only came to see the Bullock or to take it away with me, I therefore assured them I only came to see it; and desired I might be allowed that favor, and Tynah spoke to the same purport. I was now desired to proceed on, and that what I had asked should be complied with. It was near to Otaapouna where this animal was, which is the NW part of Otaheite, and it was noon by the time I got there, as I spent some time among the fishing Cannoes to purchase fish which Tynah desired I would get for him, and which he eat voraciously altho raw, with only salt water for sauce.
The shore being surrounded by a Reef I could not get nearer it than about a Cables length, I was therefore obliged to be carried on a Mans shoulders. The Crowd of Natives was very great, and I knew that among them I should be smothered by their curiosity to see me, but that I might not be
long in that unpleasant situation, I sent Oreepyah to see if the Bullock was brought down, and he soon after returned back and assured me it was. I therefore left the Boat with Tynah and Poeeno in it, accompanied by Oreepyah. As I expected I was immediatly surrounded by the Natives and it was some time before I could see Teppahoo the Cheif, during which I suffered the most extreme suffocating heat, his presence however dispersed the Crowd a little by laying about him with a cudgel, but no longer than he was making use of it could I scarce breath. I was now amidst this prodigious crowd led a quarter of a mile, during which time I had many attacks on my Pockets, but I had taken care to have nothing there but my Pocket Pistols, and these they were very much affraid of. At last the Bullock was drove towards me, and I saw the most beautiful brown Heifer that ever trod the Earth. I desired them to show me others but they all said there were no more. I could not any longer refrain from showing my displeasure at the seperation and destruction of these fine animals, that had with so much trouble and care been brought among them. I had shared with Captn. Cook in the trouble of this business and I had ever equal wishes for the success of it, my expectations were therefore very Sanguine but I have not one Idea realized.
From whatever cause it may have arisen it appears that Otaheite nui has been distracted by factions and that Matavai and Oparre tho seat of Empire, have suffered more materially than any other part of the Island. I attribute it to the little absolute power in the King joined to an effeminate disposition.
The Cheifs of all the districts have the common appellation of Erree, and one is independant of the other. Over these people the King has no power they will either fight for, or against him, as their interest or inclination leads them, and this they do with impunity with respect to punishment by the transgression of a law of the Land. We need no farther proof of this than the People of Attahooroo assisting the People of Imeo or Morea to fight against
our Friends of Matavai and Oparre, and taking away the Cattle. It is evident also that those of Tettahah were not much in favor of the latter, as the Heifer I have just spoke of, was given to them by the Cheifs of Attahooroo. Other districts to the Eastward were also against these unfortunate people, and I had it now confirmed to me that at Itteeah a district about ten or twelve miles to the Eastward of Matavai there was a fine young Bull that the people of that place had taken away from Oparre. I had some accounts of this before, but was not untill now satisfactorily explained to me. The inhabitants also of Tiaraboo had made some attack on this devoted place, and all these misfortunes seem to have fallen on them on account of our intercourse and partiality.
What then is such a government or the power of the King? Concerning this I hope to get farther knowledge and hereafter to speak of it with certainty.
As I saw nothing of consequence to keep me from the ship all night, I made a present to Teppahoo and returned to the Boat where I found Tynah and Poeeno gorging themselves with the Raw fish I had bought for them. I thought it extraordinary that Tynah had not anything sent off to him to eat, and no person shewed any respect to him, and so far from his being able to command a few Breadfruit or cocoanutts to be brought to him, I was obliged to purchase them for him to eat. I now gave my people time to their dinner and proceeded to the ship.
The district of Tettahah is not to be compared to the luxuriant and delightful country of Matavai and Oparre it is however a very pleasant place, and the Breadfruit altho not so plentifull is no doubt sufficient for its inhabitants. There is a great deal of Grass land about the Hills where in come places the Breadfruit Trees are planted, as there are not such fine plains as about Matavai. It has however a safe Reef harbour.
of the residence of the Errerahigh My companions were suddenly in a great bustle to pull their coverings off their shoulders. Tynah was the first person, and said they were obliged to do it as soon as they were near the King. This however seemed more a compliment than any thing else for on our landing to get some Cocoa Nutts I saw several inferior Cheifs covered and many others, but when in presence of any of the children as well as the Erreerahigh, the ceremony of uncovering as low as the waist is universal, the Parents not being more exempt than any other person.
After refreshing ourselves, having experienced a very hot day, we left Oparre and got to the ship by 8 oClock, but it was so before I got my guests on shore, as they staid on board to eat supper, in the course of which they drank so much wine as operated very powerfully upon them. They however gave me much praise for it and were as fine a Bacchanalian sit as I had seen for a long time.
The Morning passed without any occurence worthy of notice, only some complaints from my Freinds that they were "matty d'ava" as they called it which s drunk.