Fresh Breezes with Rain and Lightning and light airs in the latter part. Wind and Thermometer nearly as yesterday. Aired sails and cleaned below, Charles Norman sick under the complaint Peripneumonia notha. He has complained 4 Days of a Diarrhoea.
As I now intend to fix a Tent on shore, and the place which Moannah and Poeeno has given me for that purpose can be better commanded by getting the Ship farther in towards the Point, I began in the morning to unmoor and by Noon warped and moored alongshore, Best Bower in 6 fathoms, Small Bower in 8 fathoms, open Hawse to the Eastward. Point Venus N21½°E. End of the Reef N46°W ⅓ mile. West land S59°W and West head of one Tree Hill So29W.
After an half hours sail I got to Oparre. during this time I asked Otoo about the Cattle and sheep that were left there, for I conceived what he had before chosen to hide from me would now be told, as every thing must appear, and he related the whole matter. He said that after five years and three months, from the time of our sailing, counting 63 months, the Imeo People joined with Tettowah (the noted old Admiral called by Captain Cook Towah) and made a descent at Oparre. That after some resistance by which many men were killed, he and all his People fled to the Mountains. The People of Imeo and those of Attahooroo under Tettowah now being masters of all their propety, destroyed every thing they could get hold of, among which were the Cattle, Sheep, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys and Peacocks left by Captain Cook in 1777. The Cows had eight Calves. The Ewes had ten young ones. The Ducks were numerous among which he classed the Geese, but the Turkeys & Peacocks whatever was the cause had not increased. Thus all our fond hopes, that the trouble Captain Cook had taken to introduce so many valuable things among them, would by me have been found to be productive of every good, are entirely blasted. Not one Article remains; and what is still worse, if I can rely on the account, they are all killed, for they say they were eat and not one living animal was carried away by either the People of Attahooroo or Imeo. I asked if they were still at variance. He said yes, that if an Otaheite Man went to Imeo he would be killed, and the same would be done at Otaheite by a man from Imeo. He requested I would tell Toote of this that he might come out in a great ship to revenge his cause, for as I did not bring the animals out, he had no Idea that I could be affected by the destruction of them. However I told him that not only Toote but King George would be very angry at it, that he had many good Friends in England, and when ships came again to Otaheite he would have other presents and good things sent to him. He was much pleased and satisfyed. Asked how long I was to stay at Matavai, and was uneasy when I told him among the Islands five months would be nearly the time. 'You must not go,' he said, 'to the other Islands. Stay at Matavai, we have plenty of Bread fruit, Cocoa nutts, Plantains, and Hogs.' King George I told him had sent many presents and good things to him, that he should in return send some thing to King George, to which he readily complied, enumerating the different Articles he had, among which was the Bread fruit. As my View was to bring on this conversation, I made a proper use of it, and telling him the Bread fruit was very good and that King George would like it, he said a great deal should be put on board.
This is, after all my preparatives of Visiting the different Cheifs and making presents and sowing seeds, the first time I have suffered a hint of our errand to this place to be given—not that I beleive so much caution is absolutely necessary, but that it is undoubtedly proper.
Different cheifs have equal power over their respective lands, and they must all be acquainted before I would chuse to lift any of these valuable plants. As this is a matter to be opened with some circumspection, so as not to create jealousy or distrust on our future proceedings, I choose to undertake that particular business myself, and shall now begin to complete and fulfill my undertaking without delay.
Several accounts I have had from different people confirm to me, that of the Stone Horse and Mare left with Omai only the mare is living. The death of the Horse was natural, and the Huahine people took great care of them, it would have been a fortunate circumstance if all the Cattle &ca. had been left there.
I have only to remark on the preceeding account, that the time elapsed between the sailing of the Resolution 1777 and the Incursion of the Imeo People is no more than was supposed it would take those people to get the better of the attack Captain Cook made on them— every thing that was valuable to them was then destroyed — Cannoes, Houses, and every thing that came in his way; but they have really as they promised retaliated. The extensive Houses that we have seen before are no where to be found, and every habitation seems to have no more pains taken with it than to make it answer its use. They are nothing but small light sheds, the largest of which taken by the four corner supporters, might be taken away by four men. Their large Cannoes also are gone except two or three, so that I imagine the injury these People have sustained is very great.
On my landing at Oparre we were thronged as usual with the Natives, on enquiring for Oreepyah they said he was in quest of Theives & would soon be here, we therefore went under a shed of his, and after a quarter of an hour he joined us with a scraper and a small Iron Hoop. I thanked him for his attention and assured him we were good Friends, for they seemed very much afraid of my resentment. I engaged him to return to the ship with me in my boat, and taking leave of him for a while I went with Otoo to pay my visit to the Erreepahigh his eldest son, with my present.
After a walk of five minutes Otoo stopt me, and telling me no person could see his son that was covered above the shoulders he made Signs for me to stop. He was obliged to do it himself and also his wife & therefore requested I would. I was about it when it occurred to me I risked my health in being exposed in such a manner to a burning heat, and I therefore told him that if I could not see his son upon any other conditions, I would leave my present with my best wishes to him. I said I had no objections to go as I would to my own King, who was the greatest in all the world, and this had such an Effect, that on my pulling off my Hat, he threw a peice of Cloth round my shoulders and we went on. About a quarter of a mile farther towards the Hills through the delightful Breadfruit flats of Oparre, we again stopped at the side of a serpentine River where they said our Ducks and Geese swarmed in: Here [in/is] [?] made by the Natives, and I was in view of a House on the other side about 50 yeards distant. It had a beautifull and picturesque appearance, as had all the country about it, to which, no description could do justice. The young King was now brought out on a mans shoulder cloathed with a peice of white Cloth, and I was now to salute him by the Name of Too Erreepahigh. Otoo standing by me told me what I was to say. The present was now divided into three parts, and two other children brought out in the same manner. The first present I was ordered to give to a messenger, who attended for that purpose, and Otoo told me to say, that was for the King, that I was his Friend, hated theives and that I came from Britannia. The second part of the present was sent in the same manner with a similar message and likewise the third. As I could not see the King distinctly I desired I might now go over to him, but Otoo said no, that cannot be, we must go back, I did not therefore persist but returned as readily as he wished me.
As soon as I got back to the place I first stopt at, Otoo took the cloth from my shoulders and I put my Hat on, and showing a disposition to see the place Otoo took me a different road back. I was here suddenly desired to pull off my Hat, as they uncovered, and this was at passing a rude Carved Trunk of a Tree about 14 feet high— with my hat off I walked about five minutes to a like Image, but not half so high; and here I was desired to put my Hat on again. I could not make out what they meant by this, but they called one of them the God of their cloth plant. I saw the Morais square piles of Stones already well known and described.
Otoo now asked if I would like a Heivah, and as I particularly wished it; we retired to a House, and having seated ourselves, a concert of one drum and three flutes with a recitative was performed by four men. As by the form of the Flutes they are confined to a few Notes, so their performance is of course without a variety of sounds, yet they are harmonious and the Cadences are musical and pleasing.
We now removed to the House of Oreepyah, and being ready to return to the ship, Otoo presented me with a large Hog and some Cocoa nutts. I here met with Mowworoah an old cheif uncle to Otoo. Otoo, Oreepyah, Poeeno, and the wives of the two first, now got into the Boat and we put off for the Ship. Otoo insisted on my firing my Pocket Pistol, and I was obliged to comply. The Natives who were all collected in a close body, at the report dropt instantly to the ground with the utmost astonishment, but finding no harm done, they immediatly got the better of their fear.
These two places are certainly the Paradise of the World, and if happiness could result from situation and convenience, here it is to be found in the highest perfection. I have seen many parts of the World, but Otaheite is capable of being preferable to them all, and certainly is so considering it in its natural State.
On our passage to the ship nothing but Britannia was enquired after, and of the Number of Ships and Guns. Being told we had ships of 100 Guns they would not beleive it untill I drew one on a peice of paper, when they asked it it was not as big as a Mountain, pointing to the Hills. Otoo desired one of these large ships might be sent out and myself or Toote to come in her to Matavai. He also gave me commission for Cloaths, Spy Glasses, Hatchets, Files, Gimlets, High backed Elbow Chairs and Beds and Bed places, so that whatever good we may have done them, we have given them a Taste fo rluxury and indolence, indeed I fear it is already too much the case among our good friends of Otaheite.
In the Morning by Sun rise Otoo and his wife came on board, also Marremarre and his son Poohaitaiah Otee Cheif of a district called Iteeah. Otee I have spoke of before as being fed in the same manner as Otoo. He is a handsome young man about 25 years of Age. As the operation of mooring the Ship was early and light westerly Winds, it was necessary to exert ourselves to get done before the Easterly Wind set in, as the same mode of proceeding would not answer for both cases, the exertions therefore of the people at the Windlass and warping the Ship pleased the Cheifs very much, and the loosing and furling the sails they seemed equally delighted with. Nothing more occured this day than a request from Otoo that King George would send him out a Boat such as my five oared Cutter, and I told him he would have a larger one sent him as soon as I got to Britannia.
I have since found that the Images spoke of in the former part of this day, are fixed to show the boundary of the Kings Land when every one is obliged out of respect to uncover their shoulders.