Moderate Breezes and fair Weather with some Rain in the first of the Morning. Wind from ENE to East and SE and the Thermometer from 78° to 81¼°.
Employed completing the Tents and drying Sails. I have still an abundant supply for my People and Officers, and they have as much Pork, Bread fruit & Cocoa Nutts as they can use. The change of diet has had its usual effect on several of my men, as they have complained of slight cholick complaints and a laxity. The Surgeon in his account of them in his list gives me Charles Norman as before under the complaint Peripneumonia notha and George Simpson with a Cholera Morbus. I yesterday bought a fine milch goat for the use of Norman, as I considered it would be of service to him with respect to a Diarrhoea complaint which he also has, and the Surgeon approved of it.
After Dinner I went with Otoo and the other Cheifs to the Tents and having given Mr. Christian full directions how to act, I left him with his party, which consisted of the Gunner, a Midshipman, and four Men, besides Mr. Nelson & his assistant; and walked with Otoo to see an offering of food to the Erreeoys. In this ceremony he made me the principal person. As soon as we had got to the spot where this offering was to be made whither I was carried up the River in a Cannoe dragged by eight men, (round the Banks of which I had always walked before this time,) a large quantity of Breadfruit and some Hogs ready dressed were brought in baskets and some cloth. At about 40 yards distant sat a man who he said was an Erreeoy, and a lane being made by the Natives, he was addressed by one of Otoo's party in sight (standing on a Cannoe) in short sentences for a quarter of an hour. In the mean time a peice of cloth was got ready about 6 yds long, (one end of which I held) and a small sucking Pig. Four Men were ordered to take four different baskets, and being desired to walk, we proceeded to the Erreeoy and laid the offering on the ground. I now spoke several short sentences dictated to me by Otoo, which as I did not pronounce them very exact, created great mirth, and I retired. The same ceremony was gone through three different times, and a fourth to another Man who had come from Ulietea.
Otoo had several times asked me how many children I had, and I told him four girls, but not recollecting he asked me again, and said you must go with these things in favor of them. There remained now only 3 baskets of Bread fruit and a small Pig, which with another peice of cloth, assisted as before, I made this offering in favor of my Children to the Man who was first honoured. No reply was made by him, and Otoo returned with me to the Tents.
All that I could make out of this strange ceremony was, that the Erreeoys were people highly respected that they had a claim to those marks of homage for their Valour or other causes, and that there was great trust and confidence reposed in them, but what my children had to do with them I could not conceive, unless from a supposition they might ever exist under their Government.
In the morning I began to prepare my Cabbin for the Bread fruit, but the Carpenter running a nail through his Knee very little was done. Many Garden seeds were sown near the Tents and Mr. Nelson began to prepare for collecting the Plants.
The Natives are not so numerous as they were, and to prevent a throng on board the ship I have directed Mr. Peckover the Gunner to carry the Trade for provisions on at the Tent, where a boundary being fixed it can be done with much ease.
Oreepyah and Moannah dined with me to day, and the latter has professedly taken upon him to prevent any theft at the Tents. These Cheifs indeed as well as Otoo appear to be violent in favor of us, and I must do Oreepyah the justice to say there is no deceit in him, as he has always given me proofs of his desire to serve us, being the only person who has got the trifling things that were stolen returned to the Ship.
I should speak of a variety of Cheifs from other districts who have visited us, but as it would be nothing but a catalogue of Names, it can be of no use.
The People here as well as in England have several Names, and being differently used, it is frequently perplexing when the same person is spoke of, to know who is meant. Every Cheif has perhaps a dozen names in the course of 30 years, so that the Man or Woman that has been spoken of by one Navigator under a particular name, will not be known by another, unless other causes lead to a Discovery.