Light Winds Variable with Calms and cloudy Weather.
In general we are now recovering our strength very fast, so that I have ever reason to to [sic] hope that we shall leave this hospitable place in perfect health. Bathing in the River and Exercise is all that we now require except three of us who cannot keep free of Fever. Mr. Max the Doctor is however peculiarly attentive and has taken great pains and trouble.
I took Mr. Nelson with me to day to the Governors Gardens and found a Variety of fine Fruit Trees that we were not acquainted with but by name. These were the Nanka or Sosac, Blimbing, Karangbola, Boabidarah, Syboah, Jambolang and Jambo.
The Nanka or Sosac, the latter being the Malay name, is a very large fruit it grows from the Trunk of the Tree and not pendant from the Branches like most other fruit and when Ripe will weigh from 10 to 20 lbs. The Rind is rough & prickly. On being cut it is full of seed which are coated with the eatable part of the fruit. There are two kinds of this Fruit the Nanka Boboer, or Jack, and Nanka Salak. I know no difference from the outside, but on the inside one is more juicy and luscious than the other, the one the least so is however the highest flavored, and the other resembles our Sour Sop in the West Indies to which the Rind also has a likeness. The Seed is rather delicate but the Tree large.
The Blimbing is a small acid fruit that grows from the body of the Tree as the Sosac does, altho not larger than a Common Girkin. What one might have reasoned on from nature in the Sosac, that the branches are subject to be borne down by the great weight of the Fruit and therefore was ordained should grow from the Trunk is not applicable to the Blimbing. It is used in soups and as a Pickle.
The Karangbola is a very pleasant fruit and very juicy, having something of the taste of Gooseberry before it is Ripe, with respect to the degree of acid in it. It grows from 2 to 4 Inches long having five Edges, between which a finger may be laid, and when it is cut through the middle it has the resemblance of a Star. It is a small but pretty Tree.
The Boabidarah and Jambolang were not in season and only beginning to blossom.
The Syboah is a fruit produced from the Palm Tree, it is about the size of a penny loaf and nearly round. The Rind or Coat is somewhat similar to a cocoa nut, which covers three and sometimes only two hulls full the size of a large chesnutt. The shell is thin, and within it is a whitish substance without Seed or pip not much unlike a Jelly but of a much firmer substance, the taste is pleasant 'tho not remarkable.
The Jambo is a plentifull Fruit and highly pleasant and gratefull to the taste, besides being the most refreshing. Here are two kinds about the size of a common Apple. One has a dark red skin and the other white tinged with red, the latter is most Juicy and is the same as the Otaheite Ayyah. The Tree grows to a moderate size. The leaf like that of a Peach. It has one kernel or seed covered only by a skin brown skin [sic] and is difficult to keep.
The Long Pepper or Seree Boah is here in abundance. The Plant is a runner like our scarlet Beans and the Fruit very like what is called the Plantains which is gathered out of the Fields in England to give to Linnets. The leaf is somewhat formed like the Ace of Spades and constitutes a great part of the Beetle luxury as they could use no other part without it. The Seeree is either the leaf of the same plant or one of a like nature, for we could see no difference. Yet I am told the Seeree does not bear the Seeree Boah.
The Quid of Beetle is composed as follows. Two leaves of Seeree have as much mixed lime (called Capore) put on them as can be taken up with the small end of a tea spoon which folded up is put into the mouth with about a quarter of the Peenang nutt. About the size of a large Pea of a compound earth called gambeu follows it, and being chewed for a minute produceth a prodigious quantity of Saliva as red as blood. After this they add a little Tobacco and a bite occasionally of the seeree Boah as the Quid grows weak. People in general who use the Seeree have their teeth jet black, but a few of the Ladies (for they all chaw) who wish it have their teeth very white.
Durions, Mangostans, Champadah, Lansa and Salac are not to be found here.
The Mangos were beginning to blossom. Here are several kinds, but the Mango Dodole or Dodle is said to be the highest flavored. It is a large elegant growing Tree.
We saw many Guava Trees and the annonah or Custard Apple but the former had no fruit.
Here are many Pomgranates and are nearly ripe. Pine Apples and Grape Vines close the accounts of the Fruit that I am yet acquainted with, the former had no fruit and the latter will not bear untill December.
The Kitchen Garden was ill managed for there were but very indifferent Greens or even Sallad, altho the situation was on the Bank of the River. Saw two Breadfruit Trees tolerably full of Fruit but they were stinted and shrivelled which I think was owing to the poor Spot of Ground they were in.