Fair Weathe and Fresh Breezes at ENE with Calm in the middle part. Thermometer 80° to 83½°.
This afternoon while I was on shore making my observations to find the Rate of the Time Keeper, a message was sent to me from the Master that the person who carried my People off to Tetturoah was on board and desired to know if he should detain him. As he knew perfectly my determination in punishing this man if ever he could be caught, it was an unnecessary delay in confining him, but what was still worse, while the Messenger was absent, which was about 10 minutes he suffered this offender to jump overboard and escape without hoisting the Cutter out which was on deck, so that I now lost an Opportunity of securing the return of the Deserters without disturbing my friendly intercourse with the Cheifs.
In my walk to day with Tynah I took Mr. Nelson with me to look at a kind of Bread fruit Tree called Poopoore which Tynah told me I had not got and was of the finest kind and exceedingly scarce. When we came to it Mr. Nelson found it impossible to say whether he had it or not, however as a few suckers grew from it I requested they might be put into Tubs which were prepared for them on my return.
In my way back I was suddently surprized at a violent degree of distress by some one at a little distance off, where I saw a Toopapou. As I expressed a desire to see the distressed person, Tynah took me to the place, but we no sooner came in sight than the mourner burst into a fit of laughter at seeing me. This person was the Mother of a young female child that lay dead. Several young Women were with her, but they all resumed a degree of chearfullness, and the tears were immediatly dryed up. I told Tynah the Woman had no sorrow for her child as her greif could not so easily have subsided if it was the case that she regretted the loss of it. When with some humour, he told her to cry again, however we left her without any visible marks of its return. There are nevertheless funeral rites which are paid to the deceased at certain times after his death, but it is extraordinary that the great degree of sorrow and distress that these people are susceptible of can be changed in an instant to an opposite extreme, and unless it can be proved, that as impressions are most violent they are the least lasting, I see no way of accounting for it, as they are fond Parents and in general affectionate and friendly to one another in the highest degree.
It is delightfull to see the swarms of little children which are in every part of the Country at the different amusements, some flying Kites, some swinging to a bough of a Tree in a Rope, Wrestling, taking a peice of line in a variety of shapes off one the other hands (in some places of England called a Cats cradle) and a variety of other little tricks which I beleive are not to be found with a less docile and inoffensive set of People. Another amusement they have is with a Rope held by two Boys, which being constantly thrown round, others would opportunely run in and jump in it, playing many antick Tricks. This is common with the Boys in England.
I had the Parry Heivah performed to me to day as electing me Erree of Oparre the same as I had it at Matavai.