Moderate Breezes & Cloudy Weather with much Rain. To midnight the Wind at E & EBN when it varied to the Southward and blew at West the remainder of the day. Much swell setting into the Bay. Employed principally in loosing the Foresail and Stay sails to air and fitting the Cabbin up for the Plants. Few Natives off to the ship to day but have still sufficient supplies. Two Men only in the sick list to day. John Millward and Charles Norman under the complaint Cholera Morbus. At Noon had 62 Plants potted. Thermometer from 82° to 79°. Saw some Porpoises.
The Wet weather keeps most of the Natives at their habitations so that either on board or at the Tents I have had but little communication with them to day. I received much mortification at seeing about 50 square yards of Garden ground which I had got planted with valuable seeds after much trouble, trod over in most places since yesterday altho Tynah has fixed his house close to it; from this I fear little good will arise from my intentions, and wish to rear something valuable, but I had little reason to hope for Success, for out of all the things Captain Cook had planted here not one has been preserved. Mr. Nelson at that time fortunately gave two shaddock plants to a friend of his in the Country which are preserved and are full of Fruit, but one that he planted near Point Venus on our looking after it, we were told it was cut down. I have now in a flourishing State two Orange plants, some Vines, and a fine Fig Tree besides two fine Pine Apple Plants, but as these may share the same fate if left with Tynah I have determined to give them to Poeeno who cares more about them.
As it requires much attention and care to get a real knowledge of any thing from these people, I have ever since I have been here, been particularly anxious to know for a certainty, the situation of Tynah, and how many children he has. With respect to the first he is certainly Erreepahigh of all the Island, but as he is only Regent during the minority of his son Otoo his Real power will end at that time. In regard to the last, a perplexity arose I could not for some time unravel. On asking Tynah how many he had he said five, this astonished me and his wife and some others confirmed the report, altho universally I had never heard of but four before. The fifth child I therefore asked the name of—they said it had no name for it was killed, showing that they twisted its neck as soon as it came from its mother. As this is a matter which I never heard of before, I became more particular in the investigation of the truth of it, and it was confirmed to me in every respect that the first born child was killed. Now I could not find out, if in case it had been a Boy, instead of a Girl which it was; whether or not the Boy would have received the same fate. I cannot speak of this with certainty, but the answer I got respecting it was, that the Boy would not have been killed & yet they all agreed that the fist born, or Moah, as they called it, was always destroyed. Ideeah, Tynahs wife began a strange conversation, which was how the women of England were delivered of their children, and as I complied readily with the knowledge I had of the matter, I was led to the same curiosity with respect to the Otaheite women. In this particular I was fully satisfied, and Iddeeah represented the Woman in labour. One of her attendants seated himself in the Tent where we were and opening his knees took her between them in a sitting posture with her legs under so as to rest upon her heels. His arms were brought round under hers, and his hands spread over the upper part of the Belly, which they discribed were occasionally as the pains came on pressed downwards, and in this manner the mother was held untill the efforts of nature delivered her. I asked if no person came to assist in delivery she said no, that was not proper, or indeed from her representation is it at all necessary for after a few distortions of the Countinance and trifling complaints the Infant was represented to be born. From her enquiries she found our English women suffered much and had assistance in the moment of labour, at which she laughed heartily "Here she said (placing herself in the posture already described) "let them do this & not fear and the child will be safe". I was now asked if our Women had more than one child at a birth, I told her they had frquently two, and sometimes three. Three she said was eeno or bad, that some Otaheite Women had three children, but that the Woman generally died and some of the infants.
I had a visit to day made me by Toeepoy the Wife of Potatow (an old Friend of Captain Cooks of Attahooroo). She said Potatow had sent her to see me and that he would be here in ten days. I gave several valuable articles which pleased her much part on Captain Cooks account and the rest on my own.
I have still sufficient supplies of Hogs, Breadfruit, Cocoa Nutts and Plantains. Some apples called Ay-yah, but the finer sort called Vee I see but few of the season for them not yet come.
Tynahs youngest Brother Whydooah came on board to day with his wife, a very pretty woman. I have before described this Man as a person much addicted to the use of the Ava and he was at this time so drunk with it, that he could scarce stand or speak. Tynah saw him and said he was a drunkard and would not speak to him.