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Transcript of a1220116

1792
April
Towards O’tahytey
in 21 39$ South Longitude by account 217 55$ East when
The Thermometer 77 3/4$ Off the South West point a ridge of breakers extended about half a mile. It did not appear practicable for boats to land on any part of the Island seen by the Providence. From the mast head it was easy to determine that the Island was a low belt of land encircling a Lagoon, three or four miles across. No entrance could be seen though in many parts the sea washed nearly over. From the light coloured water, it is most likely of but little depth. The soil appeared sandy, but not destitute of trees, among them a few of the cocoa nut. On the beach were several very large detached dark rocks. No hut or canoe was observed, or anything to indicate the Island being inhabited. A little after noon, made sail to the North West quarter.
Discovering this Island so near noon enabled Captain Bligh to fix its situation very correctly. When it is considered, the great number of these low lagoon Islands with which the Pacific ocean is studded, it appears almost a miracle that ships should escape them. Nothing indeed but the greatest vigilance aided by prompt execution can prevent it. The Lead which by the Navigator in most parts of the ocean is in some measure depended on, is here useless. Here he cannot, when night closes on him, feel his way many of these Islands
[In the margin]
E informed me April 1819 that he planted on the [indecipherable] Keys near Jamaica in the year 18 a number of cocoa nut trees.
[indecipherable]


Transcript of a1220117

1792
April
From Van Diemans Land
have not a single tree on them, nor aught to give warning to the anxious voyager, but the white foam or roaring of the breakers.
Many opinions have been indulged respecting the origin of these curious spots, starting as the seam from the bottom of the deep. Such opinions may serve to amuse, yet do they leave conviction far behind. It has been said that they owe their rise to the accumulation of coral at the bottom, which in time reaching the surface, becomes a resting place for birds, whose dung cementing with it forms a contexture of vegetating quality. This is by no means improbable, or that the seeds of plants should be deposited by the same means. The Cocoa nut indeed, does not require the aid of birds as after remaining a considerable time in the sea, it readily takes root. It is in fact a tree that delights in its roots being washed by the salt water. The finest groves of this excellent and useful tree are always to be found close to the beach.
The foregoing conjectures respecting the formation of these coral Islands do not appear very extravagant. What is the progress in the growth of coral I am ignorant, but as I have seen it growing in the most beautiful forms nearly fifty feet from the bottom, there does not appear any reason why, in course of time, it should not reach a much greater height. Certain it is that within a short distance of the margin of most coral banks, a great depth of water is to be found, and by increasing the distance a little no bottom will be gained with a common sounding line.


Transcript of a1220118

1792
April
Towards O’tahytey
Chapter 4th
Draw near O’tahytey. The Doctor humanely employed. Pass Maitera. Intercourse with the natives. Arrive at O’tahytey. The Matilda Whaler. Jenny of Britol. War at O’tahytey. Establish a post near Point Venus. Visit Oparrey. Young Otoo. Sailing Canoes. sharks. Poenow and Tupira. Mother and daughter. Orepaia’s love of spirits. Tatowing. A theft. Botanists. Pomaureys first visit. Whyhereddy and Orepaia. Abundance of flies. A white native. Yavaroot. Chiefs from Moreea. Heava dance. Make a party up Matavai river. Offering to the Eotooa. Shaddock Trees. Nelson, the Botanist with Captain Bligh in the Bounty. Cascade called Perir. Delightful spot. Fishing. Mahu visits the ship, the Tayo or Guthrie. The Botanists collecting plants rapidly. Edeea intoxicated.
Thetis off Bermuda Feb. 1797.
7th. As we approach O’tahytey (which, having nothing to guide me but the ear, I take the liberty of being so hypercritical as to spell as above) it was among our amusements to prepare and assort the various adventures which we bought out to trade with its inhabitants, nor without anticipating at the sight of every tenpenny nail a favour from some Chief or Princess. x The charity of these good people had been so warmly described by the interesting pen of Doctor Hawkesworth that, not a doubt arose, but all our wishes would be gratified. Can it then be a wonder that, after a long voyage from the wilds of Van Diemans Land, we chide the tardy hours until a more genial spot presented itself. Latitude observed 19 02$ South Long by ac. 213 36$ East.
x A highly valued friend of your father - Lord [indecipherable] paid me a visit on board Providence before our leaving England when he observed, on being introduced to him First Lieutenant, that Mr
[indecipherable] would have to give two nails to the fair of O’tahytey.


Transcript of a1220119

1792
April
From Van Diemans Land
7th. In the afternoon with but little distinction the whole body corporate passed through the hands of our worthy associate Ned Harwood, and never did the Doctor take a pinch of snuff with more solemnity, or handle a subject with a less visible countenance.
It was ever his nature to be gentle, and memory tells me there were moments, and but moments, when I paid him in a different coin. Yet never but that it recoiled on me with double force.
It was his duty now to examine the affairs of men with a scrutinizing eye. In his report, to “nothing extenuate or set down aught” “in malice”. The report was favorable, and such as to acquit the crew of the Providence of a fresh importation of misery to this still cheerful Island. If two subjects could not strictly “pass muster”, we will not doubt, from their situation in the ship that a sense of benevolence restrained them from error.
8th. After divine service Captain Bligh read some regulations to the officers and ships company for encouraging an amicable intercourse with the various natives with whom we might have intercourse during the voyage. He particularly enjoined us on no account to promulgate the unfortunate death of Captain Cook.
At noon the Latitude was observed in 17 55$ South Longitude by account 211 16$ East, when the center of the Island Maiteea (which had been seen some hours) bore W and S about 7 leagues distant. Thermometer 80 3/4$. By four in the afternoon, while passing the north side at about the distance of a mile three canoes were observed paddling with great exertion to overtake us; the vessels were in consequence


Transcript of a1220120

1792
April
Towards O’tahytey - Maiteea
brought to the wind with the hearty confidence of an unoffending people they soon jumped on board, and bartered some bread fruit and cocoa nuts for nails and other articles. One among our visitors, who called himself an Eree or Chief, and who, from having taken copiously of an intoxicating beverage called Yava was quite riotous, entertained us in no small degree. He was dressed in a European shirt of which he was not a little vain, and gave us to understand it was procured from a ship (Pahee) that had recently visited the island. We afterwards were informed that it was from the Matilda Whaler he had got his finery.
The vessels drifted fast from the land which about sunset ( 23. ) occasioned the departure of our visitors who did not wait the canoes coming along side, but jumping overboard with their English goods in one hand, with the other they swam to them. This little Island, not above a League in circuit, is one of the most beautiful spots that can be conceived, being in most part well clothed with a variety of trees; the bread fruit, plantain, and cocoa nut, being among the number. The very summit is nearly destitute of verdure for a small space where there is a chasm apparently by some convulsion of nature, probably it is the seat of a volcano. There were several courses from this part of the Island to the sea, similar to what are to be seen in most mountainous countries from the effects of heavy rain.
The habitations of the natives, like those of O’tahytey are near the sea.
The vessels kept under easy sail throughout the night, in the course of which there was heavy rain.


Transcript of a1220121

1792
April
O’tahytey
9th. At day light we were gratified with a sight of the long wished for Island, but at too remote a distance to distinguish, even with our glasses, more than its blue mountains. When about eight miles from Point Venus, the most northern part of the Island, our expectations were more than reached in the many delightful views opening in succession as the vessels passed a short league from the shore. The heavy showers of the preceding night had given additional verdure to the lower grounds, while they served to form numberless white cataracts, serpentining amid the foliage on the distant mountains. The beach was tumultuously crowded with natives from their huts, scattered under the umbrage of the luxuriant bread fruit or towering cocoa nut, whose leafy plumes waved towards the opposite horizon, on every projecting point of the Isle, from the ceaseless pressure of the eastern breeze. Numberless canoes were in motion within an angry reef that seemed to girt the Island, yielding security to these pigmy vessels, and on the reef itself, where in a few spots the sea did not force a passage, the natives of both sexes were industriously employed, in procuring shell and other fish; yet not without indulging a respite from their daily avocation in viewing the Providence and Assistant as they passed.
By noon we were safely anchored in Matavai bay, after a passage from Spithead of thirty six weeks. The ship was moored in nine fathom water about half a mile from the beach, our Consort not far distant. The Bearings when moored.
[In the margin]
There are (I believe) doubts who discovered the Island of O’tahytey, but Quiros in 1606 seems to have the fairest claim to it, if Sagitaria and O’tahytey be the same Island. In the narrative of that voyage, the Editor says “They had sight of an Island (February 9th 1606) to the North East.”


Transcript of a1220122

1792
April
O’tahytey
Our surprise was great when entering the bay, at seeing a whale boat pulling towards the ship. On the crew coming on board we were informed that she was one of four boats which had left the ship Matilda of London, Capt. Weatherhead, a southern Whaler wrecked a short time before on a low Key in the Latitude of 22$ South, Longitude 221 30$E. On finding it impossible to save the ship, the crew were divided in the boats and steered for O’tahytey, which they all reached the ninth day, a distance of nearly seven hundred miles, though one parted company on the first night. The second mate with two seamen left O’tahytey a few days before our arrival with a quadrant and compass under the desperate hope of reaching Port Jackson and New South Wales distant intending to stop for supplies at the Friendly Islands and New Caledonia. To this hour, I have never been able to learn how this ill judged attempt terminated. With every comfort, it might be said, every luxury within their reach to trust themselves to the mercy of the waves and power of Indians, in an open boat through a tract of ocean but imperfectly known, could only argue that hardihood and indifference of danger inseparable from British seamen. Yet, is it impossible not to warmly admire the spirit and enterprise of such men.
On the day these daring men took (we have to fear) a last farewell of their shipmates, the Jenny, a small vessel belonging to Wm Teast of Bristol left the Island for the North West coast of America on the Fur trade, taking Captain Weatherhead as a passenger.
[In the margin]
“They passed it leaving it to windward being in Latitude 18 40$ South. They passed the day with some rain, till the next, February 10th, when from the Topmast head to the no small satisfaction of every one a sailor cried out land [indecipherable] and in several places columns of smoke arising which was a clear sign of inhabitants, hence they concluded that all their sufferings were”


Transcript of a1220123

1792
April
O’tahytey
The remainder of the crew perhaps acted wisely in remaining at O’tahytey.
The crew of the whaler reported that the adjoining districts of Matavai and Opparrey, in the neighbourhood of the ship, were in a state of hostility. When the boats of the Matilda landed, the greater part of what they contained, particularly four muskets, the ships papers, and a small sum of money, got into the Matavaians possession. The people of Oparrey laid claim to these articles, intending, as they said, to restore them to the first English vessel that arrived, but the Matavaians not thinking proper to comply with the demand, war was declared against them. No hostile operations took place while the Jenny remained at the Island. Some of the Matildas crew joined the Matavaians, to which may be attributed in a great measure, the cause of the quarrel, as doubtless, a
[In the margin]
“at an end. They fetched abreast of it ordering the Labra to go to look for a port, while the Capitana and Almiranta kept turning to windward in sight of it.” Quiros, it appears, passed the night of the 10th in “the offing, but when morning came, they found”


Transcript of a1220124

1791
April
O’tahytey
positive demand from the Royal party of Oparrey in conjunction with the whole of the crew, would have been complied with. Their antagonists, headed by Poenow and Tupira considered the profession of returning the money and aims to the first ship, as an artful scheme to get them in their own profession.
Before the vessels were scarcely at anchor canoes laden with hogs and various fruits were about us in vast numbers, the natives bartering their articles for iron and other wares. Hatchets were in the greatest demand.
Several Chiefs came on board, and in the afternoon we were honoured with a visit from Edeea the Queen, from whom it was understood that Pomaurey the King Regent was at Moreea an Island in sight to the westward. Edeea, as well as all the visitors expressed unfeigned joy and satisfaction at meeting their old friend Captain Bligh (Brihe) and agreeably to the custom of the Island brought a present of cloth, hogs, and fruit, the former being wrapped round him by her Majesty. The beauty of her countenance, and the elegance of her figure had felt the ravages of time, but there was in her deportment a complacency and good humour sensibly interesting.
As the sun declined, the Canoes returned on shore leaving by far the most desirable part of their freight among our crew, which after the trying self denial of a long voyage, shut out from the dearest solace life affords, could not but be truly acceptable. Edeea was among the number, attended by her favorite Towtow (servant) Mideedee, the poor fellow who afterwards unfortunately embarked in the Providence, in search of distant wonders.
[In the margin]
themselves about eight leagues down the coast; this gave great disquiet to all, as it was impossible to return back and see the Indians, but discovering the land abreast to be the same they had left it was great satisfaction to every one as they knew it was inhabited. “The night of the 11th, as the preceding one, was passed in the offing - and next day”


Transcript of a1220125

1792
April
O’tahytey
The natives in the course of the day had been dexterous enough to make my pocket lighter by the handkerchief.
With our other visitors came an incredible number of flies.
10th.. The natives in their canoes were about us by early dawn and the stock of hogs and fruit increased rapidly. For a Toey ( a flat piece of iron made for the purpose in England and which the natives fasten to a handle and use as an adze a moderate sized hog was procured.
Many chiefs (Erees) visited the ship, and we all began to establish our own particular friends. Edeea examined all the cabins, seemingly quite “at home” and well aquainted with a ship. I exhibited my Stock in Trade, and everything I conceived would gratify her when on presenting her with a few ornaments she offered to become my Tayo, or friend which distinguished honour I most readily accepted. As the dinner hour arrived, she sat down at Table with us, used her knife and fork not awkwardly and drank many bumpers of Teneriffe with great good will. In the evening she presented me with a large hog and two pieces of the Island cloth when we underwent the ceremony of O’Tahyteean friendship. The smaller piece which was of a thick texture about a yard wide and three in length, in the center of which there was a hole. I was instructed to put my head through the ends falling before and behind leaving the arms at freedom. This done the other piece, above a dozen yards in length was wrapped around my waist until I became so swaddled as to be nearly immovable. We then kissed joined noses and exchanged names. Her Majesty in return received a present from my
[In the margin]
  
Feb 12th They ran along shore to the North West observing the sun in 17 40° South presently leaving it, they sailed for [indecipherable]. No mention is made of the longitude of Sagitaria, but the latitude accords tolerably with O’tahytey, if Quiros passed its South side


Transcript of a1220126

1792
April
O’Tahytey
store of everything she desired seemingly quite rejoiced with the treaty. Most of the Mess soon established their Tayos, going through a similar ceremony.
The royal party this day applied to Captain Bligh for his assistance against Poenow and Tipira who in consequence sent Mr. Norris,Surgeon of the Matilda, the friend of one of the Chiefs, to demand the English property. Mr. Norris passed through the hostile parties without molestation, the whole amounting to about thirteen hundred. They had been engaged with their slings, which they use with great dexterity, but neither side had lost any men. A few muskets were amoung them.
      
Poenowand Tupira gave assurance to the surgeon that the articles should be delivered up in a day or two with which report he returned on board.
      
11th... Canoes were along side to trade as on the preceding day, bringing hogs and fruit in abundance. Most of the seamen had now established their Tayos, and the cook this day underwent the same ceremony that his Captain had done before, but with a native in a more subordinate situation. In the afternoon the Opaneans from which district we had only been visited, were hurried on shore by their chiefs to battle. A little later they were seen returning in great numbers armed with spears and slings; a few among them wore the Tawmey, or war mat to protect the breast. The Matavaians had one man killed by a musket, and several wounded with stones.
      
Old Hammaneminhay, a Priest, the
[In the margin]
as does the latitude of Maiteea the island he must have seen on the 9th to the North East when in the Latitude of 18 40° South. Maiteea is in about 17 55° South and can be seen at a great distance. If we invert the North East bearings and allow for the probable inaccuracy of instruments two centries ago, the situation of Quiros from Maiteea


Transcript of a1220127

1792
April
O’tahytey
Tayo of Pearce, now came on board in a state of great agitation expressing much dissatisfaction that the Royal party was not assisted by King Georges people, who they considered as their allies, urging that hostilities were undertaken solely on his account. The old man raged violently, but was pacified in some measure by Captain Bligh assuring him that the Matavaians should not pass the heads of Taira ( one tree hill) a cliff of some extent dividing the two districts.
12th... A native this day was discovered stealing some articles of dress from the Assistant. Being the first offence he was pardoned, yet on the same evening he was detected hanging to her cable waiting the darkness of night to make a second attempt at theft. On being discovered he swam for the shore and his dexterity was such in diving that had not Mideedee, who was in our boat pursuing him, jumped overboard, he would have effected his escape. On being brought to the ship he was put in irons.
The Queen did not slep on board having taken leave of us to bring Pomaurey, the King Regent, from Moreea. In the evening we were informed that the Matavaians had retreated to the mouintains.
14th.. Captain Bligh this morning in company with Orepaia, next brother to Pomaurey went on shore to fix on a spot for an officers party. This he did , not far from Point Venus, at the back of which the Mataviai River emptied itself into the sea. Orepaia undertook to clean the ground and errect a large shed for the plants, as well as two small houses for the officers and men on duty at the post. (25) The surgeon of the Matilda again went to demand the Arms.
Soon after breakfast I was sent by Captain Bligh in the cutter to Oparrey to birng up the mate of the Matilda who was living in that district. I carried
[In the margin]
on the 9th ( that is south West from it) accords pretty well with the discovery of O’tahytey on the succeeding days. Speaking of a Chief who came on board at Sagitaria, the narrative says “The Chief then went on board his paragua and setting sail navigated towards a small Islet.” Query? What Islet could this be? Was it one of the small


Transcript of a1220128

1792
April
O’tahytey
with me a present from the Captain to the young King Otoo, the son of Pomaurey, who had taken the late name of his father. Soon after reaching Oparrey, the youth made his appearance carried on one of his Towtows shoulders, the style in which he ever travelled. He seemed about twelve years of age, his countenance free and open, yet with much curiosity painted in it. The ornaments of dress did not much incommode the young Monarch, having nothing but a wrapper of fine white cloth round his loins. On signifying that there were presents from Captain Bligh I was instructed to give them to his attendants, and afterwards learnt that the custom is strictly observed, it being considered denegrating to his dignity to soil his fingers with any thing until reaching his own house. During the whole of this intercourse Otoo examined with searching looks our different dresses, and was particularly pleased with the sleeve buttons on the petty Officer. I had scarcely anything about me to offer him but a knife (Tepey) which was received by one of his suite while the man on whose shoulders the King sat withdrew several paces . On returning he begged my acceptance of a hog (Boa) but as the mate had now joined, which was the chief object of my mission, and being anxious to lose no time in reaching the ship, I took leave, promising to return to Oparrey ere long. There was a vast crowd about the boat who waited no solicitation to assist in launching her from the shore.
A number of sailing canoes arrived in the afternoon at Oparrey from Moreea. These canoes carry a very lofty narrow sail of matting (29.) and in smooth water are able to beat to windward, yet the natives never attempt
[In the margin]
Keys on the South side of O’tahytey? Or was it Moreea which is a few leagues in a Western direction from O’tahytey ?


Transcript of a1220129

1792
April
O’tahytey
to lose sight of the Island but with a fair wind so that from Orietera, Huhahayney and the other Society Islands, a voyage to O’tahytey is never undertaken with the usual trade winds, which is also as adverse to a canoe reaching Maiteea from O’tahytey. Accidents frequently happen, and canoes have been driven to sea never more heard of. Orepaia stated that a short time previously to the arrival of the Providence, his canoe overturned coming from Tetheroa a low island in sight to the northward, and after remaining several hours in the water with his wife and Towtows, they were saved by another canoe. Like the common canoes, they are fitted with an outrigger on one side, the double ones indeed, do not require this security being fastened to each other from the Gunwhales, about their own breadth assunder. The natives have a singular, yet very simple way of clearing them of water when leaky or from other causes. It is common to see them leap overboard and by the motion of quickly moving the canoe backwards and forwards force the water over each end. It surprised us on these occasions to observe the little apprehension entertained of sharks. Yet are the natives sensible it is a fish of prey. It had the desirable effect of giving the crew such confidence that the major part bathed along side every evening which in many tropical countries would have filled them with fears. Only one shark was taken along side during our stay, but from the vast number of their teeth used by the natives in their different ornaments, it would seem that they are not a scarce fish. The shark is called Mow; another kind named by seamen Shovelnosed Shark, Mow-Tamowtow the latter part signifying the bonnet worn by women. These, as well as every kind
           


Transcript of a1220130

1792
April
O’tahytey
of fish are eaten in a raw state. It was impossible not to feel disgust, however gratifying the sight of beauty, in beholding a lovely girl mutilating with the most delicately formed fingers, the inside of a large Bonetta, while feasting on it with keenest satisfaction. When not eating this way, after being wrapped in a plantain leaf, it is baked in an oven formed underground with heated stones in the same way as the hogs are cooked. And here it may be in truth observed that the European method of baking is very inferior to it. Sometimes fish are dried in the sun for keeping, but we thought them very insipid.
By the return of Mr. Norris it was learned that Poenow had quitted the Matavaian district for Whappiano a few miles to the East of it whose inhabitants had given him protection. He received Mr. Norris with real kindness, but refused in the most determined manner parting with the arms, at the same time promising somemnly that the money should be speedily returned, urging as an excuse for not sending it before that it had been conveyed to a distant part of the Island. If his enemies, he said, would deliver to Captain Bligh all the arms in their possession, he would readily do the same, without which, nothing should induce him to leave himself in a defenceless state as in such an event after the departure of the ships his district would become a prey to the Oparreans, which he had no dread of while he had no firearms to oppose. In case of an attack from the English, it was his intention to fall back to a narrow pass in the mountains where we should never take him alive. Tupira the colleague of this enterprising Chief had received a wound in the late battle


Transcript of a1220131

1792
April
O’tahytey
and was importunate with the surgeon to bring him a speedy cure. The whole of their ammunition did not exceed forty balled cartridges.
In the evening a scene presented itself the most repugnant possible to human nature, a father and mother bargaining for the untasted charms of their child, and it was difficult to discover which expressed the greatest delight, the parents or their daughter, at her being engaged to yield her virgin treasure for a few foreign ornaments, for such were considered a couple of shirts, and three or four strings of beads. Mite t’Parawhay (good shirt) was often heard from the lips of these damsels when particularly interested in pleasing their English visitors. The teenless fair one, if the expression may be used to a lovely face, partaking more of the olive than either the Lily or Carnation received the tempting bait, which the mother took from her with eager joy, leaving her on board “nothing loth” without the remorse - it is yet to be hoped - which would attend the most depraved European in a transaction of such a nature.
This was not the only instance of the kind that had occurred since our arrival and it is an indisputable truth that the O’Tahytean considers it as but a mark of confidence and attention the offer of a morety of his wife and the entire of his sister or daughter to him with whom he has entered on the terms of Tayoship. Of the turpitude of such an action among ourselves there can be but one opinion. Of its effects on those less rigid people there is no reason to believe them inimical to order on the most cordial harmony. Never does it take place but with the most hearty and unreserved concurrence of all parties. You may call it indifference


Transcript of a1220132

1792
April
O’Tahytey
if you please, and doubtless to the jealous monopolizing European it cannot but appear so. For your friend, “He’d rather be a toad and live upon the vapour of a dungeon than keep a corner in the thing he loves for others uses”.
The pliant O’Tahytean argues differently. Yet even there, where the fond swain seldom breathes his warm wishes unheeded, the chilling repulsive denial is sometimes heard. Happily for them, such instances are rare.
The instructed daughters of chastity in our colder regions, no doubt, in their own strength look with pity and contempt on the infirmity of these poor Islanders. True, from their infancy they are taught that this alone will pave their way to heaven. This jewel inviolate, every discordant passion may rest without impeachment or control. The children of these Southern Isles know no such doctrine, nor are they the less happy for it. If frail, yet do they largely teem with charity and benevolence. Then condemn them not too harshly, for with all the frothy aid of systematic instruction, yet do our own fair fall and deep indeed, for such is the prejudice of an unfeeling world - that the once fond mother who sedulously watched their infant years, and sisters who shared the warm confidence of their bosoms - must know them no more. Tis a heart rending truth. Better then, perhaps, do the thoughtless South Sea Islanders act in looking with a benevolent eye on what mankind has from the “beginning” and will to the “end” err in even should civilized institutions - which is hardly possible - become a more severe and a still greater


Transcript of a1220133

1792
April
O’tahytey
restraint be imposed on the laws of all powerful nature.
Orepaia came on board in the evening after having, with a number of natives, been working at our encampment. With the greater part of the Chiefs, he had acquired a violent attachment to spirituous liquors (Yava no pretaney). Towards night he became quite intoxicated and in high spirits talking much of his honour and consequence, and made many promises to his Tayo Bond. The wind was from the westward in the morning, giving more than a usual degree of warmth to the atmosphere. The Thermometer at noon was 87°.
The operation of tatowing was this day performed by a native on one of the seamen. The marking instruments are of various breadths, from a quarter of an inch to two, formed of fish bone with teeth like a comb. This is fastened to an handle, forming an adze. After being dipped in a black composition it is applied to the part intended to be marked and struck sharply with a small wooden spatula. The blows produce blood, as well as considerable pain and subsequent inflamation, but this ceases ere long when the ornaments, which are various, remain indelible. It is frequently necessary to repeat the operation from the acute pain endured when applied to the more susceptible parts of the body. There are many marks adopted by particular classes. The Eareoyes have generally a large spot under the left breast. About the time of entering their teens, the young girls become fit subjects for the tatowing instruments, the swell of the hip and its environs, being chosen for the field of operation. This is sometimes done in curved lines, and at others in a broad one of


Transcript of a1220134

1792
April
O’Tahytey
two or three inches, which on a clear nankeen coloured skin has a lively effect, giving great relief to the eye. Some prefer the Vandyke fashion diverging o’er the smooth surface of their more fleshy part, forming a star of nearly half a foot in diameter.
No girl at any of our fashionable finishing seminaries in the neighbourhood of Queen or Bloomsbury Squares, when she takes leave of her tucker feels warmer hopes than do these damsels when they submit to this short lived pain. The deeper the wounds, the greater the triumph, the more their boast, nor is persuasion at all required to gain an exhibition of these proud stains.
The sight was interesting and novel. Their contempt of pain at so early an age we could not but admire, yet not more than their complacency in anticipating our most critical researches. The operation is sometimes performed with such severity as to raise the skin considerably, nor were subjects wanting, on whom the rays of light were not necessary, to prove their being tatowed, a Basso-Relievo being very evident to another of the senses.
As whim and notoriety seem my dear James to be the “order of the day” among you, it has surprised me much, that some of our dashing demi-reps have not come forward - backward might have been said - completely tatowed. If on the embrowned skin of the O’tahytean fair one it proves so interesting, how heavenly would it appear in contrast with the snowy whiteness of the ignoble part of our own lovely countrywomen! And then, the luxury - with what trembling timidity, would the gazing


Transcript of a1220135

1792
April
O’tahytey
operator, lost in admiration, apply the instruments.
In the evening there was the usual tradewind.
16th.. A party under the command of Guthrie landed this day and took possession of our Post near Point Venus. Pearce, with his marines served to give it quite a military appearance. (24.) I am not writing for the world it is true, but I cannot resist bearing, even to you, my humble testimony to the unremitting attention and good conduct of Pearce and his small party from Chatham. Indeed, in essential points of service this truly valuable Corps have rarely been found remiss.
The Thief this morning when we were busy, contrived to throw himself overboard without disengaging the irons. By very prompt exertion he was saved from drowning. His countrymen reporting him insane (nenera) he was sent on shore.
Messieurs Wiles and Smith the Botanists, were by this time making considerable progress in the collection of Bread fruit and other plants, which were deposited in the shed before mentioned as built for the purpose. About this time there was a cessation of hostilities, but Poenow and Tupira still kept aloof with a small party.
Pomaurey paid us his first visit today but without any form or ceremony. He was accompanied by his father Otow a venerable old man apparently about seventy, very grey and infirm, and whose skin was much affected from drinking of Yava.
In the dress of Otow and his son, there was no difference from the other Chiefs, but the canoe in which they came was covered with an awning of canes and network. Edeea was of the party, and her


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sister Whyhereddy, a younger and more handsome wife. My Tayo brought me a hog, some fruit, and a quantity of cloth, the latter being wrapped round me as when we became friends.
In honor of the Regents visit some guns were fired which rather alarmed him, nor did he quit the side of Whyhereddy the whole cannonade. Edeea now complained of hunger, nor was she many minutes in devouring full two pounds of pork, with as much brandy and water as would have staggered any seaman in the ship. Pomaurey and his two wives slept on board. Poor Edeea seemed neglected for those charms still in bloom of her younger sister, and was seldom allowed to share her lords bed.
17th. Facts are all I deal in; you, who have more leisure and research, may reason on them as “seems wise”. It was my destiny this morning to stumble on Orepaia, brother of the King Regent in an unequivocal situation with Whyhereddy. It was by accident be assured, as it has ever been my maxim - and ever shall - not to interfere with the private avocations of any one - nor should I have entered the six foot cabin of my friend Guthrie - at least without knocking - had I in the slightest degree subspected it had been converted into a rendezvous for gallantry. The discovery however served to convince me that the Royal family were as incontinent as those in a more subordinate sphere. An enjoinment of secrecy took place not only from the parties, but strange to tell, from Edeea the neglected and almost repudiated Edeea. But I am disposed to suspect that she had her weak moments, and that Pomaurey was the dupe of both.


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The very high bred, hacknied dames of quality of our own Island might here take a lesson of courtly indifference. Dining with Captain Bligh I found Pomaurey of the party, who never contaminates his hands with the touch of food, but is crammed like a Turkey by one of his attendants; nor is it possible to conceive anything more ludicrous than this operation. He received several glasses of wine from me, which I was instructed to pour down his eager throat as he sat with his hands totally unemployed. Pomaurey appeared about five and forty, as well as his brothers, his skin was darker than that of most of the natives, nor was it much tatowed. In height he was above six feet, and of a strong muscular frame, but an awkward stoop, with a vacant unmeaning countenance, in which indolence and good nature were the leading features. Certainly it must be confessed that Whyhereddy evinced taste, although at the extreme of constancy, in preferring Orepaia who was a most interesting figure, and bore the character of a great warrior, while that of the Regent was quite the reverse.
Pomaurey had but little external distinctions paid him, nor was it uncommon for the towtows to converse jocularly with him and sit in his presence. The women it is true, were not allowed to eat in his company; indeed the sexes among all classes at O’tahytey separate when at their meals. It was however dispensed with on board the Providence, Edeea and Whyhereddy constantly joining at our dinner table with the Chiefs.
Many of the Matavaians having withdrawn from the district, their antagonists availed themselves of it to plunder the houses of the few articles left in them.


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18th. Visiting the Post this morning my messmates seemed comfortably settled, except being dreadully tormented by flies which are very numerous at the Island. I did not hear of any mosquitos, which is rather singular in a tropical country.
The Botanists were busily employed in bringing in plants and forming a little garden. Young Otoo was about the post all day, but never dismounted his towtows shoulders, who alternately relieved each other of their princely burthen. Pearce had given him a scarlet jacket of which he was not a little vain, making him in return a present of some cloth, fruit, and a hog. His young majesty without much ceremony asked for everything that particularly pleased him, and had all his requests been complied with, some of us would have been left Sans Cullottes. Of his privileges he seemed to an inconvenience tenacious; it rained heavily the major part of the day, yet he did not condescend to enter any habitation, taking shelter under the umbrage of a bread fruit tree; and we were informed that he never on any account entered any house but his own. He had the happy facility of pronouncing many English words, particularly those expressive of his wants.
In the young Kings retinue was a native of a colour disgustingly white. Similar instances have been met with in many Indian countries. He was of a weak frame of body, and by no means equal to his countrymen in figure. The O’tahyteans have dark penetrating hazel eyes, but those of this poor wretch, who seemed to have been ushered into the world imperfect, were of a light grey colour, and so weak that it was with difficulty he kept them open.


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His hair and eyebrows, though equally strong with the other natives, were of a white flaxen colour. His skin was sorely blistered by the sun which encouraged the flies to incessantly torment him. The sight of this man perplexed our seamen considerably, nor was it without much persuasion they were convinced he was not a European settled on the Island.
I remember being once with you, where a person of a similar description from the African coast was exhibited as a phenomenon. We only went to see. It is for those who search deeply into physical causes, to aim at explaining - what they will still be in the dark about - as much as you or me.
Strolling not an hundred yards from the post the Matavai river came suddenly on my view, on the banks of which clear and beautiful stream, the bread fruit, cocoa nut and avee were growing in the most luxuriant state; amid which, it was mortifying to see most of the houses deserted, and many totally destroyed by the war. In crossing the river, which was on the shoulders of a native, there was a friendly conflict among them for this post of kindness and attention. To have refrained from dispersing the few beads (poeys) in my pockets among this more than willing group would have argued a heart callous to every grateful sensation.
19th.. Numbers of Chiefs were on board early in the morning, their Towtows bringing a quantity of Yava root for their recreation. As the whole process of manufacturing the liquor took place on board, I was particular in observing it. The root, fresh from the ground, the earth not


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being washed off, is first masticated by the Towtows for about two hours, the juice expressed from it being discharged by the mouth into a wooden tray. At this time it becomes of a consistence similar to the cud of an ox, the remains of the root being with it. Milk from the cocoa nut is now added and well beat up together. There yet remains to eradicate the coarse and stringy parts, which is effected by rinsing a bunch of grass which collects it leaving the Yava a liquid of the colour of muddy water. It is now portioned into cocoa nut shells for drinking, and no sooner swallowed than every one eats immoderately of bread fruit, plantains, or Mahee, a preparation of the first by fermentation.
Edeea drank nearly a point of this deleterious beverage, but it seemed that the effect and not the pleasure while drinking it was alone cultivated, as no child ever evinced more disgust at a dose of rhubarb than her majesty and the whole party did as it passed their lips. It soon spreads its baneful influence on the human frame. In ten minutes my Tayo, scarcely able to support herself begged permission to recline her tottering limbs on a bed, which was no sooner reached than she unavoidably sunk into a profound sleep for several hours. Another of their courtly party came reeling into the Ward Room with all the symptoms of epilepsy or affection of St. Vitus’s dance; this man it was also found necessary to support to another couch. Yet so violent is the attachment of these people to Yava that it is among the few plants cultivated in the lower grounds and however


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averse the O’tahytean is to exertion, he thinks his labour well repaid by bringing from the distant mountains this pernicious root, where it grows in abundance. Like many other opiates, it is succeeded by the most enervating effects to the whole body and when taken to excess affects the skin with a rough scaly appearance.
Guthrie and myself, however disgusting the preparation, were willing to follow the example of our visitors. About half an hour after taking a large tea cup full, which was but a moderate dose, its narcotic effects were very perceptible, a pleasurable giddiness succeeding, which soon terminated in an undisturbed sleep of about three hours. The small quantity taken was probably the reason why I suffered but little after awaking, a slight uneasiness over the temples, which subsided in about an hour only taking place; but so sweet is the sleep promoted by Yava that were it now within reach of your friend it would be sought with avidity, even with the certainty of a subsequent head ache on shattered frame, sometimes experienced by taking too copiously of Yava no Pretancy )English Yava. My messmate experienced similar effects with myself.
It is not within my recollection whether the Yava plant was taken on board the Providence at O’tahytey, but it certainly never reached the West Indies. The root from its powerful nature might probably be of use in medicine. It would appear from an account in some old voyages, that it was known in these seas nearly two centuries ago; Schouten in 1616 at Horn Island in Lat. 14 16° South says, “After


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“this they prepared for a solemn banquet, and in order to do it began to make ready their liquor, which they did in this slovenly manner. There came into the presence a company of fellows with a good quantity of Cana (which is the herb of which they make their drink) each of which, having crammed in a mouthful of it, they began to chew together; having chewed it awhile, they put it out of their mouths into a large wooden trough and poured water upon it, and fell to stirring and squeezing it, and having pressed out all the goodness, they presented it to the two Kings.”
20th.. Several Chiefs from Mooreea visited the ship, Pomaurey being very assiduous in pointing out her different parts. Although a dull man he gained much in our esteem by his uncommon good nature. I again met him at Captain Blighs table where Edeea and Whyhereddy joined the party and eat in his presence, notwithstanding a forbearance of it was strictly observed on shore. His younger wife shared the honour of his bed on board.
About Sun set the girls collected on the quarter deck to dance the Heeva as usual. No solicitation was required, as they took great delight in this amusement. The party on these occasions consisted generally of from ten to twenty. The chief study of the performers seemed to be in keeping exact time with their feet and hands, clapping the latter together with great regularity and a sharp noise; at the same time repeating short sentences with an arch look, chiefly the scandal of the day, where our names, as well as those of our Island friends were frequently introduced. The dances were of short


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continuance, but often repeated, the performers exhibiting their pliant well formed limbs in the most sportive postures; at times, full of the most encouraging invitation, when suddenly, as if anger or neglect gave birth to it, the coy repulsive movement succeeded - but of short duration - as, at the winding up of the dance, every look, every motion, solicited the warm admiration of the gazing spectators. And may ye, my good and cheerful girls, long dance the Heeva unconscious that among us it would be deemed full of danger to the morals of our refined damsels. Tis the custom of your favoured Isle, and in doing it you are as free from turpitude as the City Miss, who, under the strict observance of her Mamma’s eye, stiffly paces at Lord Mayors ball the laboured minuet; or rustic red cheeked lass, who, in the hoyden revel, receives the eager pressure of her partners lips with more than half met joy.
22nd. Having made a party in the hope of reaching the source of the Matavai we left the post at early dawn. Its direction for a short distance was parallel with the beach, then from the East about a quarter of a mile, when it again took a northern course from the mountains.
About a mile and an half from the post, after passing the low land which in most parts girts the Island, we entered a valley about half a mile across the hills rising gently on each side richly clothed above half way to their summits, with bread fruit, cocoa nut, Avees, Eratta (a large kind of chesnut) and many other trees whose names were unknown to us. The soil was here very rich. We passed many houses, but in general (40. 45)


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they were injured and deserted in consequence of the war. The valley however was not destitute of people, and, as is ever the case with the European traveller at this Island, our party increased as we went along (30.).
Advancing up the stream bread fruit and cocoa nuts became scarce, and the valley more confined. After walking about three miles, having crossed the river several times on the natives shoulders, we came to some inhabited houses, contiguous to which was an offering to the Eotooa (or God) on account of the war. The oblation consisted of twelve hogs placed on four stools, three on each, about five feet from the ground. Near them was a square pavement of about twelve feet, and one high, with twenty long stones standing upright on it, ornaments at their tops, about two feet high, with the common bonnet (Tawmowtow) worn by the women. Ignorance of the language denied our getting any information, but that everything was sacred to Eotooa and that the offering was for his protection in the war. The hogs were in a dreadful putrid state, giving the air of this part of the valley by no means a fragrance. A little higher up, three very fine shaddock trees attracted our notice, two of them teeming with fruit. The natives estimate this fruit but lightly, though they call it Ooroo no pretancy (English bread fruit). They were brought from the Friendly Islands.
These trees were planted in 1777 by the late Mr. Nelson, who was with Captain Cook in his last voyage. An old man whose habitation received shade from them spoke with affection and the warmest gratitude of our countryman, and with unfeigned sorrow lamented


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his death when informed of it. Here we sufficiently understood one anothers language; little indeed was there to explain. Nelson died at Timor in 1789. (35.) The country soon became more wild and picturesque. In many places the current being impeded by huge rocks, where it did find a passage, was very rapid. Bread fruit and cocoa nuts were no more to be seen, but there were plantains the whole of our walk, and the soil, where free from rocks, productive. On either side many beautiful cataracts from a great height suddenly caught the eye, yet not without a warning as we approached by their roar in forcing a passage among the woody cliffs to the stream below. At this distance no more habitations were observed.
Our guides now became urgent for returning, but though every foot became more difficult we were not willing to leave undertermined the object of our pursuit; another inducement also, the hope of reaching a cascade called Peeir by the natives made us journey on. Extending our rugged walk about two miles we were indeed rewarded for our labour. It is formed by a perpendicular basaltic rock of above an hundred feet, extending at its base, on the right bank of the river more than two hundred. (32.) The margin above projects a few feet, the water falling in a broad sheet without meeting resistance until it reaches some detached rocks, whence by several channels a still deep pool receives it. The pillars are closely connected, but in many parts broken. Similar rocks were observed in the course of our walk. The drawing of the Peeir was from recollection on returning to the post, perhaps the pillars may not


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be critically correct, but the general appearance is all that is attempted. The weather had been dry for some days previously to our excursion up the Matavai; doubtless after rain the fall acquires an additional degree of beauty and grandeur.
Above the Peeir the river became very confined. In some places it was a clear deep pool, while in others it rushed amid the rocks with great force and rapidity. Our Island friends had by this time quitted us in numbers, being reduced to about a third of the party gleaned in the valley. The day advanced so far, we were under the necessity of returning, much chagrined at not having reached the source. A rock in the mid stream served as a resting place, where we sat down to refresh ourselves with cocoa nut milk, of which fruit some had been brought from the lower ground. (34.) There could not be a more delightfully retired spot. Every surrounding object disposed the mind to quiet contemplation. On the one side a lofty mountain richly clothed with various trees to the summit, whose branches nearly reaching a stupendous bald cliff opposed to it, overhanging the river full of threats, scarcely allowed a glimpse of the blue canopy of heaven; yet through the playful foliage was a faint view of the purpled summit of the Isle (Otoos Horns) far above the fleeting clouds along its side. The Tropic bird, the Sheerwater, and other sea fowl, as if weary of their watery element, were ranging high in air above these craggy steeps, in whose recesses they rear their young. Here no animal, no reptile with envenomed

 


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fang, as in most tropical countries, is to be found checking the ardent researches of the traveller. Not even the soaring rapacious kite, the trembling dread of the smaller feathered tribe was here ever seen.
From so interesting a spot, it was not that we returned to the boisterous scenes of nautic employment without reluctance. It was night ere we reached our encampment, not little fatigued, yet highly gratified with the excursion.
In many parts of the river the natives were procuring small fish by making a dam across it with stones where it was shallow. To this dam the fish were driven by people coming down the stream and beating it with bushes, interstices being made to which baskets were applied. It is hardly credible what numbers are taken in this simple way. Others were caught near the bottom by introducing a small “landing net” under them.
23rd. Mahu the Tayo of Guthrie, visited the ship this morning. This Chief, a native of the Island of Oryeteea, was above six feet three inches in height, with a handsome countenance and very robust figure. A recent discovery proved him to be as incontinent as his neighbours; but the sister of Pomaurey was always remarkable for her gaiety, and is mentioned by Captain Cook as excelling in the Heeva, nor indeed had she forgotton it, frequently mingling in the dance with the younger damsels on the quarter deck of the Providence. As the O’tahyteans do us the honor of imitating some of our manners, no little pains were taken to please her, in the assurance that
[In the margin]
The Island of O’tahytey is the only part of the world which I have ever visited without noticing the Hawke or Kite species. (Query St. Helena?) It is also somewhat remarkable that there are no snakes of any kind, or frogs, or toads.


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our English ladies never felt old, that being Grandmothers rendered them more lovely in the eyes of our Chiefs, and that five and forty was the criterion of beauty, while the warm blood mantled but in vain on the vermeil cheek of nelgected sixteen. Where James did our countrymen acquire this strange, this unseemly propensity? Is fashion, as in the cut of our coats, to influence us in an election where nature should alone guide? Surely, such ought not to be. In the evening the marines were exercised, with which the natives, who had assembled in vast numbers, were highly satisfied.
Bread fruit and other plants were rapidly collecting, and Messrs. Wiles and Smith soon expected to complete their number.
Otoo about this time built a small house not far from the post, intending to spend some days at Matavai. Orepaia with his wife Ena Madua and her sister were on board most of the day; the latter, Orepaia presented to his Tayo, nor would the laws of hospitality admit of his refusing the boon of this generous Chief. Ena Madua was fed by one of her Towtows but we were informed, only for a certain period, in consequence of the recent death of a relation. In her ear she wore a lock of the hair of the deceased, her own being cut in ridges as a mark of sorrow.
Every day served to convince us the more of the violent attachment of these people to intoxicating liquors, as well as to their own Yava; Edeea this evening on the parade, was past utterance, and it was necessary to support her from falling.
24th. In the afternoon I accompanied our worthy Doctor in a walk to the eastward of


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the river. Our notice was soon drawn to a double canoe hauled up on the beach near to which was Otoo’s house. Here, for the first time, I saw him sit down. Being desirous of examining the canoe, as we approached it the young Monarch evinced much displeasure, his attendants repeating Eotooa, Eotooa, (the god, the god): not wishing to give any offence we proceeded no father, but it sufficed to observe that on one of the prows there was a roasted hog with the head of another, besides bread fruit, plantains, and sugar canes. The other prow supported a large bundle about five feet in length covered with red European cloth. Several bunches of feathers were hung to different parts of the canoe, and on its fore part was erected a stage three feet in height supported by a railing on which was a long box (41.) in the form of a coffin covered with a canopy of reeds and net work. It was understood that this box was to protect the Eotooa, (who was wrapped up in the red cloth) in bad weather. The canoe had recently arrived, decorated in this manner from Oparrey, Otoo coming in her. On the beach were two Island drums ornamented with European cloth. The provisions were for the Eotooa consumption. Otoos house was nearly full of the different finery with which he had been presented by officers of the various vessels that had visited O’tahytey.


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Chapter 5th
Visit Oparrey. Coral rocks. Tarro. Pomaureys large house. Climbing cocoa nut trees. Torano. Fishing. Dine with Tarro. Toopapows, with a corpse. Meat, how baked. Bamboo forks. Salt water for sauce. One tree hill. Girls dancing the Heeva. Talk of peace. Great desire of the natives for shot and powder. Strong liquors. W. Whyte robbed. Dine with several Chiefs in the Cabin. Whyhereddy, Pomaurey’s younger wife. Visit Whapiano with the Surgeon. Upset in a canoe. The root Tarro. Secession of the sea. Visit Rupira. His Character. Whapiano River. Visit Whidooah. Stone Morai. Whidoah’s wife Tai Aiva. Towrowmey, the operation of. Natives fishing for mullet. Excursion up Matavai river. Mother of the King Regent visits the ship. Maid of Honour. Native punished for theft. Plaited human hair. Tamow. Satutes at large. Ena Madua jealous. Noise of pigs. Pomaurey fed. Eareoye Society. Sheets stolen. Pomaureys attendants. Virgin. Drummer punished. Kids wanted. Attend watering party.
Thetis Coast of America Feb. 1797.
25th. A small party this morning was made to visit the district of Oparrey and the country westward of it. On reaching the harbour, which we did in a canoe, the sea was as smooth as glass, affording us the gratification of a submarine view of the coral rocks on either side its deep but narrow entrance branching in the most singular forms, among which a variety of highly coloured fish were gliding about in search of food. Soon after landing our party was increased by the Surgeon of the Assistant, with his Tayo Tarro, who ordered


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a hog to be baked for dinner against our return. For five or six miles our walk was by the windings of the coast, a reef encircling it the whole way from a quarter to three quarters of a mile distant, through which at about midway, there is an opening to Taawney bay. On the west part of this bay was a very large house belonging to Pomaurey at this time inhabited by an old Orietean Chief, who received us with real hospitality , instantly sending his Torotows to a neighbouring tree for cocoa nuts to refresh us. The natives climb these trees with an agility and confidence really surprising. They first fasten to their feet a piece of soft rope made of grass, about three feet in length, which being doubled extends nearly half as much. After embracing the tree they [indecipherable] with their feet this band which prevents them from slipping, and thus alternately shifting their hands and feet, in a short minute reach the fruit which is frequently nearly one hundred feet from the ground. Nor is the manner in which the fruit from this height is preserved from injury in the fall, less to be admired. This is affected by a sudden twist of the hand, giving it a spiral motion while descending through the air, by which means it falls on the point without bursting, which otherwise would be the case. They do not always succeed in this attempt, and when the fruit falls on its side a loss of the milk is generally the consequence. You are well aquainted with the cocoa nut and will be the more surprised being told that it is not uncommon to see these Islanders taking off the husk with their teeth without any difficulty.
As this was the largest house I saw on the Island, it made me particular in getting its dimensions.
The length was sixty two yards, and the extreme


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breadth fifteen, supported at the ridge by nine pillars about sixteen feet high, and at the eaves by seventy two, half of that height. Except at one end for about ten yards, where it was enclosed by bamboo railing, the whole extent was open to a free current of air; the roof was a strong thatch of the Whana tree (wild pine). Waiting some time with old Orieteran, our walk was continued to the house of Torano and elderly lady related to the Royal familty, and who was frequent in her visits to the ships. On presenting her a knife, Tepay she was very thankful. The sun became so opprewssively warm as we walked along the beach the it obliged us to return. The tide had fallen and it is almost incredible the number of people, chiefly women and children, that were employed along the shore, and on the reefs, in procuring shell and other fish by various means. There was one boy with a stick about ten feet in length, at the end of which there was a fine line, which being passed through a small hole acted as a noose. This he applied to the small recesses of the coral rocks, ensnaring the fish as they passed in and out with great success. The fish he guided with his right hand attending the line with his left. (Vide Fish, Pages 27, 28, 51, 52, 58, 59, 60, 61).
Not anything the sea produces is rejected by the O’tahytean, even the sea egg is eaten generally in a raw sate.
Toranos house again served as a resting place where we found a mat spread on the grass under a bread fruit tree with the usual refreshments.
Being engaged to dine with Tarro, the old ladys friendly offer of slaughtering a hog was not accepted. She had in fact ordered her


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Towtows to put one on requesition, which Tarro communicated barely in time to save it.
The route homewards differed by its being through the plain. The intense heat of the sun, with the progress of a flood tide, had brought the fishers among the shady bread fruit from their labours, and the same number of these cheerful people were still seen. Several streams rom the mountains served to refresh every part of this plenteous plain. Some Morais or burying places, as well as Toopapows, where the dead are for a time placed until ultimately deposited in the former, attracted our notice. These were scattered all over the district no particular part being alloted to them. One, considerably more splendid than the rest you will see a drawing of. It was square, of fifteeen feet by twelve, and nearly five in height. Inside this enclosure of reeds, which was decorated with bunches of Wharra (wild pine) was a stage about six feet from the ground, supported by wooden pillars. Boards were fixed on this stage, the corpse being laid on them covered with the country cloth, red, as well as white. From the stage, rails on each side supported a canopy of reeds, covered with black and white cloth richly ornamented with tassels of cocks feathers. The back and sides of the canopy were hung with white cloth. Under the stage a large sleeping mat was folded with much care, and in front of the enclosure a quantity of white cloth lay on the ground, near to which, a square of about eighteen feet was covered with fresh grass in the manner of the floors in some of the Chiefs houses. The mat, we were told, was for the deceased to sleep on when it was necessary.


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A few yards from the Toopapow, different kinds of food were placed on a small table which was to be frequently replenished. ( 31 ).
A small Morai was near at hand, consisting of a pavement nearly thirty feet square, and about two high, with nothing remarkable about it, but the bust of a a man carved in stone, the only instance I saw of sculpture among these people. Cocoa nuts and plantain were growing among the stones of the Morai.
It was the corpse of a child of an Eree;the mother was present while we were prying into the contents of the tomb, more amused with our curiosity, than concerned for what gave occaision to it, laughing heartily the whole time.
Soon after reaching Tarros house, a fine hog smoking from the oven made its appearance. It can hardily be necessary for you to be informed that the O’tahyteans bake their meat by first digging a hoie in the ground, in which are placed stones which are heated for the purpose in a fire close at hand. The animal being wrapped in several folds of the plantain, or other large leaves, is laid on these stones, when more and equally hot are placed above, and the whole well covered with earth the air being totally exculded.
In less than three hours a large hog is in this manner admirably baked, superior indeed by far than could be effected in the most finished European oven. Plantains and other fruit are frequently placed inside of the animal baking.
Tarros diner was served up with as much taste as his Island utensils would admit; he did not forget to point out having prepared a table cloth in the english style, and he had employed his own and his Towtows time during our walk in


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making forks of bamboo, supposing it would please.
Here have we a lesson for the frothy unmeaning courtier who would smilingly persuad us he anticipated our every comfort, while perhaps in the same breath, he wishes us at the devil.
Tarro did it in the honesty of his soul. As a substitute for salt, a cocoa nut shell ot the pure pacifc ocean was placed by each guest, nor without being found very palitable after a little use.
After taking a hearty and most welcome meal, and with Yava no pretaney, drinking the health of King Geroge, a custom generally followed on such occaisions by the Chiefs, we bid our host a good evening. During the whole visit Tarros house was surrounded by natives striving who could be foremost in rendering us any service.
The distance from Oparrey to the boat was about two miles. A cliff called generally by us “One Tree Hill” is the boundary line of the two districts. After passing this spot we met a large party of girls dancing the Heeva who on joining redoubled their exertions to please; nor couild we in return resist distributing the few beads (poeys) left in our pockets, among these nimble damsels. They were on their road to get a [indecipherable] on board the Providence or Assistant, and having a little leisure, ere the hammocks were piped down, travelled in this cheeerful manner. It was common indeed to see them when on a journey from one district to another dancing merrily along the whole way, nor without the hope of meeting some of our countrymen who


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April
O’tahytey
    
were always solicited for some trifle or other with such an artless smile, it could not but be complied with.
About this time Poenow with many of the Matavaians returned and began erecting houses on the spot where the old ones had been demolished by their enemies. Peace was much talked of, the Chiefs having taken place at Oporrey to consider of it.
Walking up the river with my gun many natives attended, and it is impossible to describe the pleasure they evinced at seeing a swallow shot flying.
So great is the estimation these people place on all kinds of fire arms and ammunition that a dozen of them were anxiously employed in picking up the few shot that fell on the ground, in charging my gun and but a few days before one of the Chiefs offered the Serjeant of marines some curiosities in great demand for four balled cartridges.
The traffic at first so acceptable to these altered people now bears little value when compared with weapons of any kind, and there is but too much reason to dread the sad consequences of vessels , particularly of trading ones, touching at this and neighbouring Isles. For a dozen muskets and a good proportion of ammunition, a large vessel could procure an abundant supply of provisions. Strong liquors are also sought with avidity. These, among too many others, are acquired evils at O’tahytey, unknown happily until introduced by the visits of civilized nations. What does the future promise? Does the avaricious trader much heed what a misery his


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April
O’tahytey
destructive articles produce among untutored individuals? He wants refreshments and supplies to enable him to prosecute, in this distant quarter of the globe, his greedy scheme of gain and if Gunpowder or pernicious enervating brandy should be demanded in preference to the useful axe or ornamental beads ,will they not be given without reflecting on the cosequences?
Until this day the natives only interrupted us by kindness in our excurssions, but Mr. Whyte, one of the Surgeons mates, wandering too far without a guide, was plundered of his handkerchief by a man he met in the woods. The thief displayed some address and ingenuity having offered his friendly services to conduct our countryman to the hills, while his shoulders bore him safely over many a stream until far from the busy “haunts of man” when being by far the strongest of the two, he without ceremony rifled the doctors pockets, nor did he leave instructions which was the shortest way back to the post.
With Pomaurey, Orepaia, Edeea and Whyhereddy I had the honour of dining at Captain Bligh’s table today. The King Regent had scarcely finished his meal when he betook himself to toy with the false Whyhereddy who, heedless of our presence, was reclining her finely turned limbs, not too much enveloped in drapery, on the cabin floor.
There was a disparity in the years of Pomaurey and Whyhereddy which at O’tahytey is by no means uncommon. It before has been observed that his Majesty is of the numerous fraternity of cuckolds, but like many among ourselves, seemed not aware of what he was robbed, or else, was indiffent about it. Yet did he doat on his younger
 
[Written in border]
[Mr. Whyte (as well as Mr.Ridgeway) was promoted shortly after the return of the Providence. He died in Egypt in 1802. He had embraced an opinion that the plaque was not contageous and inoculated himself twice for it without any effect. On making a third trial]


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April
O’tahytey
wife, who with an act, inseparable from her sex, managed this amorous infirmity, to her own benefit and amusement.
The whole day Orepaia was very indignant in consequence of several articles being stolen from our shipmates at the post, giving every assurance that strict search would be made to discover this thief.
30th... Early in the morning Harwood and myself quitted the ship for the post with the intention of walking to Whapiano, five or six miles eastward of Point Venus, first calling on board the Assistant for a gentleman who was to be of the party. The canoe in which we were going on shore, was a single one, very small, and heavily freighted, nor was it long before she overturned, sousing us completely. Had not our good Doctor a fast grip by the outrigger, where he clung magnanimously, the number of our mess would have been reduced, and the world have lost a truly estimable character, as he could no more swim than one of his own coins. To the rest it was rather a ludicrous affair as a boat from our consort landed us in safety.
This distraction did not frustrate the excursion and getting our clothes dried at the post we proceeded with two confidential natives.
We soon passed a quantity of Tarro a kind of yam or eddoc, with which the Island abounds, it being issued daily to our crew as one of the substitutes for bread. This root delights in a moist soil; in many places it was in a luxuriant state nearly half a foot in the water. Some pains had been bestowed in enclosing it against the destruction of their hogs.
[Written in margin]
[which communicted the disease, it caused his death in two or three days. GT 1803. But, vide an account in the beginning of this book, since not within.]


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April
O’Tahytey
The surf along the beach broke high, though sheltered by a reef, and opening in which appeared about two miles from Point Venus, as well as others as we walked eastward.
The path along shore was nearly obstructed when about four miles from the port, by a high cliff forming the western boundary of Whapiano. As well as their language would admit, our guides described that when Captain Wallis visited the Island in 1767 there was no travelling even at low water, at the foot of these cliffs and that there had been a gradual secession of the sea on most parts of the Island.
Tupira had taken up his residence in this district, to whom we paid a visit, being received with much civility, yet with a reserve that seemed to arise from an apprehension our views might be hostile to his party. He was surrounded by Matavaians and his own family apparently prepared for an attack.
The whole conduct of this Chief evinced a spirit of enterprize and dignity of character superior to anyone I had yet seen. Most of his front teeth were missing from the blow of a stone in defending what he deemed his right, and he had still an unhealed wound in his knee from the same weapon. In our conversation pistols were mentioned, which instantly caught his attention, while it animated a countenance in which suspicion could not but be perceived that he still doubted his visitors. This it was our study to remove, when he anxiously requested to see them. Thinking he would be gratified I fired at a mask, which more from accident than skill, took place exactly gaining me so much


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April
applause that I had prudence not to risk losing it by a second attempt. Being our host, we said nothing, from a point of delicacy, of the Matildas muskets, but were afterwards informed that he kept them under his sleeping mat.
The usual refreshments of fruit and cocoa nut milk being taken, the walk was continued about two miles further eastward, when the river presented itself after our having crossed several smaller streams.
The mouth of the Whapiano is above an hundred yards across, its bed being formed of large dark pebbles. The view up the stream is singularly grand and picturesque, but it was rendered imperfect this day by the distant mountains being enveloped in clouds. A sketch I made (26.) will give you a faint idea, and but a faint one of this beautiful landscape. The usual mode of crossing the rivers, on the natives shoulders, placed us on the eastern bank but after heavy rains, this is not to be effected but in canoes.
Whidooah, the Tayo of Harwood, who had a house in this district received us cordially, instantly ordering the slaughter of a hog (Boa) but as time would not admit of the whole being baked, a limb was cut off and put in the oven. As usual we were surrounded by men, women and children, from all parts of the plain who without any deference to the mansion of a prince of the Hood soon compleatly filled it.
While the joint was baking we strolled up the stream to a place sacred to the Eotooa (God) in a large enclosed square of railing. Near to it was a stone Movai (burying place) and


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April
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as at the Toopapow in Oparrey, a small table with different kind of provisions. All information was denied us by our ignorance of the language, except that everything was sacred to Eotooa, even a musical instrument formed of a large conch shell with a bamboo pipe to it. Apropos, there is one of them in our collection at home.
The shoulder was served up on our return and cleanliness, if not elegance, was as conspicuous as at the most fashionably appointed table in Europe. Leaves, fresh from the tree, served for a table cloth, the appetite had been assisted by exercise, and we had the cheering looks of our host - when awake - with those of his pretty wife Tai Aiva - the Belle of the Isle - to crown the whole.
Whidooah during our walk had taken a moderate portion of Yava and we found him reclining on the lap of his wife much disposed to sleep; nor was it long before the somnific effects of the Yava, aided by the operation of towrowmey (in which Tai Aiva and the Towtows were employed) fixed him in a sound nap for an hour or two.
After fatigue, I have experienced the most delightful relief from this custom (towrowmey) of rubbing and compressing the different parts of the body, and so sensible are the natives of its salutary effects that we never entered a house after a long walk but it was offered to be administered, which I can assure you was ever eagerly embraced by your friend. Pomaurey was generally encouraged in his afternoon nap by the operation of towrowmey, nor was it


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April, May
O’Tahytey
uncommon, to see it persevered in, after the drowsy god had taken possession of his majesty.
Taking a friendly leave we returned towards the Port.
Tai Aiva crossed the Whapiano in simple nudity, unconscious of her hitherto hidden charms for the translucency of the stream but ill served, however in some places deep, to envelop them.
Tupiras served as a resting place, where everything was prepared for our refreshment.
It was flood tide, and many of the natives were fishing for mullet with rod and line in the same manner the fly is used for trout. (38.)
3rd. Mr. Frankland, Surgeon of the Assistant, accompanied me early in the morning to explore the mountains towards Otoos horns (orooynah) as far as the day would allow. In our way through the plain three natives attached themselves to us. The Hills above the plain rose gradually in ridges, being generally clothed with fern but nearly destitute of trees. The soil did not appear good, but higher up it improved. A path was soon reached taking the direction we wanted.
About four miles from the port, in a southern direction, having passed the middle hills before mentioned, the country became more woody as we continued along a ridge separating Matavai river from a smaller one eastward of it. The path was so narrow, our march was by Indian file. On either side was a valley some hundred yards beneath, in many places the descent nearly perpendicular. Two of the natives here bade us farewell, but the one, on whom


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we placed confidence as a guide, journeyed on with spirit.
On the departure of his countrymen, a small piece of baked hog, a single cocoa nut, and a small pocket flask of brandy, was all our provender, and though surrounded with trees none offered any fruit that was eatable. The air was oppressively warm and our limbs felt wearied in clambering these steeps. One now before us was so discouraging that it was with pleasure the almost lost path was observed to take a direction down its eastern side. Hwere were great forests of wild plantain trees, but not in fruit; we were however agreeably surprised in meeting water in the hollows of the rocks. Of this we drank perhaps incautiously, rested awhile and followed the path, which brought us to the other side of the mountain but only to present still higher rising to the view. Here they shut out the river to the eastward, but the natives beating of cloth lower down its banks was still heard.
On a birds eye view of the Matavai from this spot there was a village of about a dozen houses on a spot of cleared land near the base of Otoos Horns. To this village the Aereoyes resorted at particular periods to indulge uninterruptedly in unbounded licentiousness.
As, for want of time, it was found impracticable to further ascend the mountains, the guide promised to conduct us to the Aereoye village, giving an assurance that after surmounting a high steep in front a path led directly to it.
It was about noon, and a refreshing breeze, hitherto attending us, began to decline. Our limbs


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courted rest and on looking at the guide the cocoa nut was missing. All these drawbacks staggered our resolution, and it was determined, instead of proceeding higher, to strike directly through the woods for the Matavai.
As nearly as could be estimated from the rate of travelling we were at this time about seven miles in a direct line from Point Venus, and five from (Orooynah) Otoos Horns, but it appeared impracticable to ascend their summit by the northern side.
On looking about ere we descended, on all sides but to the north, where the ocean and the small Island of Tetheroa formed the limit, we were surrounded by mountains richly clothed with wood to their very tops. Our elevation was so great that the eye circumnavigated Tetheroa from whence to the visible horizon was several leagues; and it was plain to determine, like many of the south sea Islands, that it was encircled by a reef. The Providence and Assistant at anchor in Matavai bay, though so much nearer, could only be distinguished as two specks on the blue surface of the water. (36.)
Our grand object was to reach the river, but for ten yards before us there was no answering, the woods were so very close; the guide however pushed on cheerfully, and by vaulting from tree to stone and from stone to tree, with the variety of sliding on a part which the climate did not require to be heavily covered, trusting frequently to unfaithful twigs and mouldering rocks, we found ourselves about an hunred yards lower.
While the Otahytean continued in view
[In margin]
In 1789 Mr. Samuel, Clerk of the Bounty, saw from the mountains of O’tahytey the Islands of Huhahayney and Maiteea, which are nearly in opposite directions seventy leagues apart.


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May
O’tahytey
all went on well yet could we not conceal that our situation was not cordially relished and we found too late that to inveigle us into it was a plan for the purpose of robbing us with impunity. Taking advantage of some thick underwood in front, he scampered off with the agility of a monkey, nor more to be seen. The ingenuity of our fellow traveller was great. I had my pistols with me, which, to satisfy his curiosity had been frequently discharged in the course of our walk, and in return for this attention he very politely offered to carry them for the English Chief, who as simply granted it. Besides the pistols he had both our jackets, and, direful to relate, the bit of pork for which our stomachs now yearned. The brandy bottle was still left, with which we sat down on a projecting stump without a casting vote as to our proceedings. After a short debate, the same course was continued, not without execrating the O’tahytean, and our own simplicity until we came suddenly on the margin of a precipice, the bottom of which could not be seen for trees. However laborious the task, it brought us to the necessity of again ascending, which short as was the distance, took nearly two hours to effect.
Journeying homewards by the old path it felt light in comparison, however much we were fatigued, but the want of water was indeed felt, nor did a frequent application to the brandy bottle give relief to your friend; though it had the wished for effect with his companion. At length reaching the water among the rocks, we almost deluged our parched frames, and to our great joy found the lost cocoa nut, which was swallowed with avidity. A single bunch of the wild


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May
O’tahytey
plantain was here seen, but after the trouble of cutting down the tree, the fruit was so strong and coarse as not to be eatable. Ginger and turmeric were growing in abundance, the latter indeed is to be met in most parts of the Island, and is used by the natives as a yellow dye.
The moon assisted us to the port late in the evening after having lost our way several times. Nor was the good supper and Yava no pretaney prepared for us by our shipmates, at all unwelcome, yet could we have dispensed with the laughter occasioned by our disasters.
Though we did not reach Otoos Horns, it was ascertained that the Matavai was supplied by numberless falls of water from this mountain, which serpentining amid the woods had a picturesque appearance.
Many Fern trees, some above twenty feet in height, were in great beauty on the mountains; Yava was also observed, appearing to thrive best in a high situation.
4th. Obereroah, mother of the King Regent, this morning paid her first visit to Captain Bligh. The old Lady was so very corpulent it was necessary to hoist her on board in a chair. She no sooner reached the cabin than a very curious scene took place. To express her happiness at meeting Captain Bligh she threw herself on the floor weeping bitterly in loud lamentations. Her whole suite soon caught the sad infection, and it was a full hour before this woeful ceremony closed; when the Queen Dowager and her court regain their wonted cheerfulness,


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May
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visiting our different cabins, where they asked for beads and other articles.
On her receiving a present from one of my messmates, she very graciously begged his temporary acceptance of one of her “maids of honour”. He was ever well bred, and incapable of giving offence, so that, however his philosophic disposition resisted it, the power was denied him of refusing the friendly offer of Obereroah.
The Queen Dowager appeared above sixty, yet with as fine a set of teeth as can be imagined. The teeth indeed of these people are in general desirably white and regular; perhaps the latter quality is occasioned by their mouths being larger than most europeans, which I am disposed to believe arises from the custom of extending and distorting it when dancing the Heeva. The quantity of vegetable diet used, no doubt, preserves their colour, while it gives a purity to the breath, rarely so met with where too much animal food is taken into the stomach. After meals they seldom fail thoroughly washing their mouths.
In the evening Obereroah was lowered into her canoe and went on shore, her suite being reduced by the aforesaid “maid of honour” - which no doubt was it to reach the ears of many bearing the same rank in our red book, a degree of indignation would be felt at the frailty of the Otahytean Court.
A scarcity of cocoa nuts was observed about this time in the public stock, and other provisions were brought in but slowly. The eager demand for shells,


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May
O’tahytey
ornaments and other curiosities, however publicly discouraged, occasioned this scarcity. Some petty thefts were committed by the natives, on board, as well as at the post, to check which Captain Bligh caused one man taken in the act of stealing a handkerchief to be punished. After receiving a dozen lashes which he seemed to heed but little, he jumped over board and swam on shore with perfect indifference.
Nothing was yet heard respecting the Matildas money. It had most probably been dispersed about the Island, as one of the Officers had recently purchased two dollars for a knife from a native whom he met in the woods.
The Matavaian district was now rapidly increasing with its old inhabitants and many new houses were erected. Tupira however, still kept at Whapiano with the arms.
5th. The whole Court remained on board nearly the whole day, it might indeed been said, from the length and frequency of their visits that they were of our own family.
My Tayo brought me a present of plaited human hair, about the thickness of a double thread and yards in length. It is worn by the women as an ornament round the head in the manner of a turban, and called Tamow. The superior sort of dancing girls generally decorate themselves with it.
This was the only present brought to me by Edeea for a considerable time, which occasioned our being rather on cool terms. She had reproved me for not being more bountiful, which in some


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May
O’tahytey
measure was a true charge, but as I wanted some articles difficult to be procured in the neighbourhood of Matavai I still thought it politic to withhold any gifts until she brought them, at the same time making as great a display of my riches as possible, which had the desired effect of soon placing me in possession of a war mat (Tawmey) and some other curiosities.
To get such kind of articles there was no little difficulty, from the eagerness with which we sought them, and from the introduction of european implements having rendered many of them nearly useless; the stone adzes in particular, nor have I a doubt but that nine tenths of those brought home in the Providence were purposely made for sale. Though very profitable to them, the natives laughed at the avidity with which we coveted all their household and other goods. Yet have they at O’tahytey their Collectors, and their cabinets of European curiosities, and you will hardly credit it that old Hammaneminhay the High Priest was in possession of a volume of the “Statutes at large”, which he had procured from a vessel that had touched at the Island, on which he placed as much value as some among us do, on a brass Otho, a petrified periwinkle, or even (as you and I once heard a showman say) a “stuffed baboon from the mines of Golconda”.
In the evening, many of the natives were fishing with rod and nearly up to their shoulders in thewater; to the left one a small basket is attached to put the fish in,


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May
O’tahytey
of which numbers were taken daily this way. A small seine managed by two men was also in use, but with less success. (33.)
6th. Orepaia was on board at early day bringing the pistols that had been stolen in the mountains. He said that his brother Whidooah intercepted the theif at Whapiano when making his way to Teairaboo, the windward peninsula of the island. It was more than probable the pistols had been carried to Orepaia, but that the apprehension of Captain Blighs displeasure, in the event of a discovery, had induced him to return them, and that the story of the thief being taken by his brother was a fabrication; the more so, as in some recent transactions Orepaias veracity had been doubted. I could not however help making some acknowledgment for his exertions, which he at first declined, but a little persuasion soon conquered this delicacy. He was loud in condemning the thief calling him a bad man, (Eno de Tata).
Ena Madua, his wife, felt amazingly jealous of him, and spoke this day in angry but affectionaqte terms of his incontinence. It was that meretricious ”Quean” Whyhereddy, who tempted Orepaia to wander from his own home. Of this I had occular demonstration, yet did it seem charitable to aim at persuading this neglected wife that her fears were groundless; but it was in vain, the “green eyed monster” had taken too strong a hold.
In return for a present, Edeea sent me an amazing large hog, with a


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May
O’tahytey
quantity of fruit, and a promise of cloth. The music of these cloven footed animals was no little annoyance to the nerves of your humble servant. To prevent irregularity, trade was only allowed to take place on one side of the ship, and this, unfortunately was where my six foot apartment was situated, so that from the “rising of the sun till the going down of the same” did the ceaseless lamentations of these poor half strangled grunters din my ears, nor without an apprehension of their finding a passage through the port in their struggles, while dragging up the side from the canoes.
Boa (a hog) - (Waheeney, a woman, must not be forgotton) - seems to be one of the first words our countrymen understand. It is indeed the staple commodityof the Island; and what I verily believe these good people think, brings us among them. Both indeed have been said - and perhaps with great truth - to be of a very delicate flavour. Yet so affectionate were the terms, some within the sides of the Providence had been on, with the latter of these good articles, they were sorely lamenting they had not confined their researches to the former.
This day I had again the honor of being a spectator to the cramming of Pomaurey. Our host Taffo paid a visit to my cabin and had his hair powdered, which he always made a practice of doing when on board. Tarro is of the Eareoye society, of which you have heard a great deal. I readily confess myself unacquainted with its customs; indeed, with scarcely any knowledge of the language, I am percluded speaking confidently of any of their mysterious ceremonies.


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May
O’tahytey
what has fallen under my own eye it is no arrogance to repeat, but giving an elaborate account merely from conversation with an indian whose tongue I do not understand, had better be withheld. In one circumstance, that of the Eareoyes frequently destroying their children the moment of their birth, all accounts agreed, nor could we at all persuade them of the inhumanity of it. It was good, (miti) they said, and the custom of the Island. And the same of the horrid practice of sacrificing their countrymen on various occasions.
Three or four of such oblations to their gods were made during our stay, but without any of us being present on the occasion. It is said that the most worthless in society are fixed on, and however horrible the custom, from ignorance and superstition, some consideration and humanity is observed in the manner of their death, being knocked privately on the head without the least apprehension being entertained of it. The corpse of one of these poor wrteches recently killed was shown me. It was in a long basket made of cocoa nut leaves, in shape resembling a hammock and suspended in the same way to the lateral branch of a tree but a full mile from any Morai or place of religious observance.
7th. A message came from Tupira importing that if Captain Bligh would send for the Matildas money it should be given up. Mr. Norris in consequence, and some of her crew, proceeded to Whapiano with instructions to


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May
O’tahytey
to first secure the money, and then request the arms. The Messenger acquainted us that Tupira had retreated to the Whapiano mountains, an attempt having been made by Whydooah to secure him.
8th. While at dinner in the ward room a native took the opportunity of stealing my sheets through the port. Mideedee who was upon deck, observing a canoe paddling on shore with unusual exertion, suspecting something wrong, pursued and overtook her just as she reached the beach. The thief offered to share the booty, but this worthy Islander was not to be corrupted, and being the most powerful man brought the sheets back.
9th. Mr. Norris returned with the major part of the money. The remainder, Tupira informed him, was a long way distant in possession of another person.
This persevering Chief was found a long way up the Whapiano surrounded by about an hundred of his faithful Matavaians. It was in vain, he said, to expect the muskets, as with his life he would only yield them; he repeated as he had before, that, in case of an attack he would retreat to a narrow pass in the mountains and defend it until his ammunition was expended. He reprobated in contemptuous terms the pusilanimous conduct of his brother who had deserted him and was at Matavai with the females of his family, who, notwithstanding the quarrel, had remained unmolested by the Oparreans. It appeared that one of Tupira’s party had treacherously deserted, giving Whydooah intelligence of his retreat, who under shelter of a dark night, made the unsuccessful attempt before mentioned.
His five “stand of arms” were constantly kept under


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his bed; that is, his sleeping mat.
10th. Early in the morning I was awakened by my Tayo who, according to her promise, had brought me a war mat (Tawmey).
In the afternoon Pomaurey begged permission to take a nap on my bed. He had once before enjoyed that privilege, but unfortunately left two of his attendants behind, which my bed maker (the officers in the Providence that it might not weaken the crew had no established servants) found in solemn march upon the pillow and, to use his own expression, swore they came from the head of his Majesty by “their colour”. Captain Bligh though truly friendly to the Chiefs, kept them in such excellent order that they never took any liberties with him, by which means he enjoyed some degree of retirement. However fraught with danger, it was not in my power to refuse Pomaurey the boon he asked.
Such were the fears of a trembling unmellowed damsel as the sun sunk behind the distant hills and the hour of dedition approached, that, unequal to the contest she leaped into the briny element and reached the plain, undeprived of that - she was urged on board - to lose. Thine own friends my good girl with an Eree no pretancy, (an English Chief) had formed a compact against thee. Hadst those come free and uncontrolled, like many others who sought the Providence for English finery, I might have felt for the disappointment of him, who with meretricious longing coveted thy unsapped charms.
11th. Preparations were making at this time by Orepaia and other Chiefs for an expedition


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to Paparra on the South West part of the Island. The Chiefs of this district were in possession of a few firearms, and an attempt to get them by stratagem was to be made by Orepaia by his going round laden with presents that no suspicion might be entertained of his intentions. Of this he made no mystery to his English friends, attaching no dishonour to such a proceeding.
The Drummer was this day punished, in the presence of a number of the Islanders, for forgetting, in his amours, that he was under the care of our messmate the Doctor. The beater of parchment perhaps thought retaliation no crime and that as the O’tahytean fair ones had given him a warm token of remembrance, he had a right to return it “in kind”. But whether he reasoned so or not, the dozen he received was properly and justly inflicted. With that tenderness inseparable from them, the natives pitied his sufferings but acknowledged that he deserved punishment.
In the evening there was a more crowded Heeva than usual. Among the strange customs of the Island may be mentioned that of the names of things and persons being frequently altered,and which has occasioned great perplexity in the accounts given at different periods of these people.
The Dances (Heevas) about this time were called Hoopaowpa, some person of consequence having taken the former name. Orepaia had changed his name to Aboobo (tomorrow). The King Regent, Pomaurey, when Captain Bligh was at the Island in the Bounty in 1789, bore the name


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May
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of Finah, and at a former period it was Otoo. And here it may be remarked that the engraving of him in Captain Cooks second voyage is an uncommon strong resemblance, however the lapse of time may have altered his features. Hitherto the young King has only been known by the name of Otoo, his fathers former one. In future visits to the Island, it is probable we may find it changed. His Grandfather Otow, in 1773, was called E-Hoppai.
My pen is frequently obliged to touch on subjects which the purity of him who guides it would rather avoid, yet this would be witholding from you some simple facts strongly indicative of the manners of these Islanders.
Among other good things required for the passage home, were some kids. Assistance from the shore was necessary on the occasion as our Nannettes were living in a state of celibacy. If a congregation of the O’tahytean fair did not withdraw from the consummation of their nuptials, habit must acquit them of indelicacy. These are scenes which the english maiden has been taught to close her eyelids on, the uninstructed peery peery (virgin) of this Isle views with indifference. Yet, if she is familiar with that, doubtless as well concealed from her, she owes not her knowledge to aught but simple nature. That, which is acquired under the broad shelter of art, or affected mystery, belongs not to the O’tahytean.


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There was a fresh trade wind outside the Dolphin reef, though it continued calm all day in Matavai bay.
The departure of the chiefs for Paparra gave us considerable relief; it is true, nothing could be more cheerful and amiable than their demeanour, but the ship was so constantly crowded with them that little rest was allowed us.
In the morning a woman came on board with her child, whose unfortunate father was a mutineer in the Bounty, and had been taken by Captain Edwards of the Pandora, with many others, about a twelve month before. There were on the Island three or four children of this description, besides one belonging to Brown, a man left by Captain Cox of the Mercury Brig in 17 . Brown it seems left O’tahytey iin the Pandora.
The mother of the child was sensible of the fate that awaited the unhappy mutineer, yet without expressing much sorrow on the occasion, so little does serious reflection intrude on their thoughtless dispositions. An O’tahytean may be tenderly affected for a short period, but it would appear that no circumstance whatever is capable of fixing a lasting impression on the mind.
As the children of the mutineers have been mentioned, an enquiry naturally follows why after the many visits to the Island, more children are not to be seen partaking of european blood. It is certainly a fact that, until recently, not a single instance has been noticed, from the time of Messieurs Wallis and Bouganville in 1767 and 1768. The fathers of the children brought to the Providence resided on the Island above a twelve month


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and were individually attached to the mothers, which may account for the children being born; and yet, no proof, I believe, has reached us of the females, under any circumstances, using means to promote abortion. The Aereoye Society it is known destroy their children instantly on their birth without the least reproach or stigma attending it. This may have been the case with the children of the casual visitors to the Island, from the conviction of the mothers that they were left fatherless on the departure of the ship to which such father belonged; whereas it most likely was not calculated on by such women as had connected themselves with the mutineers of the Bounty. Indeed, had the mothers felt any disposition to destroy the children of the latter, no European father - it is believed - could have consented to it.
In going to an Island Key in the evening to the eastward, vast numbers of the natives were on it collecting sea Eggs and different shell fish for food.
Having the engravings to Captain Cooks voyage on board, they were shown to Pomaurey but the Sea Horses on the coast of Kamshatchka was what alone interested him. He had some days before seen some curious articles, only to be purchased at the Chinese market, but he was not satisfied until his younger wife Whyhereeddy was allowed a similar inspection, which, to quiet his importunity, was granted.
About midnight we were alarmed by a noise in the water occasioned by a native who had stolen the sheets from off our premier Bond. Two muskets were fired over him, in


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the hope he would return, but such was his enterprise and activity in the water, he effected his escape notwithstanding three boats were in pursuit.
A native who had been troublesome and thrown stones at the watering party was punished with three dozen lashes, with the entire approbation of the Chiefs. He seemed little concerned, either as to the pain or disgrace of the punishment.
Vast numbers of Cavallies were taken in the seine, some above twenty pounds weight. The South part of the bay was found to be the most productive for fishing, close to the eastward of the heads of Tarra (or One Tree hill) particularly after rain. (61.)
20th. In consequence of the insult offered a few days before, I was sent this morning in the watering boat, a duty which had hitherto been conducted by a petty officer. The natives were perfectly civil and peaceable. Owing to some heavy rain that had recently fallen, the banks of the Matavai were overflowing, and the sandy isthmus separating it from the East part of the bay, not above sixty yards across, through which the sea had perforated so as to render the water brackish at the usual filling place, obliging us to go farther up the stream with our casks.
Edeea returned from the Paparra exepdition with the common present of a quantity of cloth. The major part of the Chiefs still remained there, with the hope of getting the firearms.
The supply of hogs was very confined, so that we were under the necessity of sending to Oparrey and purchasing for the daily expenditure, a hatchet being required for a moderate sized one. Yet was the Island teeming with them.


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May
O’tahytey
Chapter 6th
Visit the Morai at Oparrey. Curiosities. Corpse of Mow-oroah. Houses, different ones. Scissors. Carved figures, Etee. Morai. Transparency of the sea. Visit Whapiano, a war canoe. Tai Aiva’s breakfast. Tupira dines with us at Whydooah’s. Edeea neglected by her husband Pomaurey. Pomaurey much intoxicated. Whyhereddy enjoying the rain. Grievous ceremony. Mideedee. Our Kings Birthday. Paper Balloons. Excursion to Tetaha. Wild ducks perch on trees. Birds. Pomaurey not a warrior. Bread fruit scarce. Cocoa nuts. Second excursion to Tetaha. Scurf on the skin from drinking Yava. Island Tetheroa. Began watering. Articles from the wreck of the Matilda. Plants embarked. Sorrow of the Natives. Party embark from the post. Ship unmoored. Crowded with natives. Anchor weighed. Chiefs sleep on board. Parting. Leave the Island.
Thetis Coast of America March 1797.
21st. Harwood was kind enough this day to accompany me on a visit to the Morai at Oparrey. Our pockets were filled with different articles to exchange for any thing curious which might be met with. It was soon circulated through the plain that two Erees from the ship were in search of curiosities. The natives ever laughed at the avidity with which such collections were made and to show their contempt some brought a stone, another a feather, and so on, being highly delighted with the tricks they were playing on us. One fellow really deserved much credit as a


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sharper. I had bargained for four of the beautiful little blue paroquets called Veneys with a promise to call for them on returning. In about an hour after, he came lamenting that two had escaped from the cage. As I did not doubt his veracity he received the whole price, which was no sooner done than a boy brought two more and sold them; but we soon discovered by the looks of those around that the whole was a scheme to get double pay for the birds.
Understanding it was in the neighbourhood, we visited the exposed Corpse of the late Chief Mow-oroah. We were informed that he had been dead about four moons, and that every evening the body was placed under a shed. The Corpse was in a sitting posture on a stage about four feet high, but different from the common Toopapows. Except a bandage o
Except a bandage of white cloth over the middle, and another round the temples, the body was in a naked state. It was more tatowed than any I had seen on the Island; the legs and thighs being marked so as to leave no remains of the natural colour of the skin. The arms were in circular ridges from the shoulder to the wrist, and under the left breast was the broad mark of the Eareoye Society. The stage was decorated with a quantity of striped red and white cloth, a rail at the back of which supporting the body from falling, being hung with the same. The whole of this, and the shed was enclosed in a bamboo fence of about eighteen feet by six, partly open at one side for the attendants on the corpse to enter by. It was the only body I saw exposed in this manner. Several inferior Toopapows were in the neighbourhood, nor would it seem that any particular spots are appropriated for them, which is the more remarkable in so


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cleanly a people, as the stench from them is very offensive; yet the inhabited houses were quite contiguous to many, without any annoyance being felt, or apprehension of disorders being generated by the putridity of the air around. (43.)
It is customary when a corpse is exposed this way, to first remove the intestines.
Mow-oroah was related to the royal family. His widow Mereea was living. Not far from this spot, the pillars of a large house were standing, the roof having been removed. Much labour must have been bestowed in constructing these supporters, and it was with pleasure we observed that the proprietors, to prevent their decay, had covered them carefully with coarse matting. View in Opparrey (37.).
The houses are of various kinds, some being enclosed from the eaves all round with a railing of bamboo, having a door on one side. Others are left entirely open, supported by three rows of pillars like the long one before mentioned at. The leaf of the Wharra tree, a species of Palmetto, is generally used as a thatch, being very durable. None of them are floored but the Chiefs houses have generally a carpet of cut grass laid regularly, which, as it decays, is supplied by fresh. The furniture consists of a sleeping mat, a small wooden pillow for the head, and sometimes a layer of the same form to sit on.
These are made in a neat manner, chiefly from a hard wood of a mahogany colour, and, previously to the introduction of european tools, must have been a work of much time and labour, as the legs are carved from the solid block.


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Gourds are in use to contain water, and the cocoa nut shell to drink it from. Besides a few other cooking utensils, little else is to be seen in an O’tahytean mansion. All these are kept remarkably neat and cleaned; indeed, about Matavai and Oparrey, there were few who had not European boxes or chests to keep their valuables in. Any thing foreign bears some estimation; you have been told of a volume of the statutes at large being in old Hamminaminhays (the high priest) possession, and this I believe nothing could induce him to part with; he even kept the book concealed, dreading it might be taken from him.
Scissors were much prized, with which the natives were constantly amusing themselves cutting their hair in various forms. Some of the women were not ignorant of the use of the needle, and linen was so plentiful among them that there was a great demand for soap. It was said that one of our non-commissioned officers, a pleasant good tempered fellow, had been so bountiful to his female friends that his wardrobe from three dozen shirts, was, on the departure of the ship, reduced to three single ones. The mention of soap calls to my recollection that, we all had O’tahytean washerwomen, whose bills were paid in beads, spike nails and other commodities.
As well as the houses already mentioned, there are small portable ones scarcely able to contain two persons, for embarking on the double canoes, and young Otoo had a small one erected on pillars in the water some distance from the beach in Oparrey harbour.
In our walk we saw several of the carved figures called Etee (50.). The most remarkable one was about twenty feet in height, consisting of sixteen


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Figures, the base being of the female sex, about three; the others decreasing gradually according to the size of the tree. They are carved without the tree being cut down, and it musts be a tedious undertaking. The Etee was observed in various parts of the Island; distant from as well as contiguous to Morais and Toopapows; the distortion of the mouth as when dancing the Heeva seemed to be imitated, and in some of the male figures the distinguishing mark of the sex was most prepoterously evident, affording no small degree of giggling to some O’tahytean damsels, who retreated not from their God of Gardens.
As we approached the Morai, the eastern breeze wafted to us no very odorous perfume from numbers of hogs that had been sacrificed as an oblation to the deity. These were on a stage about forty feet in length, supported by three rows of pillars eight feet high; long rushes, nearly reaching the ground from each side of it. Close to the stage were two tables, on one of which was a single hog. Those on the stage amounted to about fifteen. The Morai was a pavement about a foot high, sixty four long, and forty two broad; at one end indeed, it was raised four or five feet like two steps which part was decorated with carved wooden figures, some of them representing Heeva dancers, birds, and lizards. A few upright stones were fixed in different parts of the pavement, three or four feet high, and bread fruit and cocoa nut trees were growing among them. (30.) A human skull, and one of a hog were hanging to some carved figures near the Morai, and another skull was brought to us which our guides said was kept with great care at this place, it being that of Thompson, one of the mutineers


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in the Bounty.
A case for the Eotooa nearly similar to the one seen on Otoos canoe at Matavai was near, supported on a platform, about six feet high, by nine pillars. Close to it, was an uninhabited house, but for what purpose we did not learn.
As well as the pavement already mentioned, there was on the eastern point of Oparrey harbour, not an hundred yards distant, a large pile of stones in the form of the base of a pyramid, regularly placed in four stones. Many carved figures in wood, similar to those on the pavement, were here placed upright, and the Toa was growing luxuriantly among the coral rocks, though its roots were washed by the ocean. The windward side of this projecting coral point was sheltered by a wall, inside of which were several human skeletons laying in different directions. But I am wearying you with descriptions, perhaps more tedious than clear, and will therefore refer you to the attempts of my pencil. (42.)
In our way home, a quarrel having taken place at Matavai, we found two of the natives fighting. The weaker man had a fast grip of the others hair, nor could he be disengaged the whole conflict. Kicking and every advantage was taken, and one gave the other such proofs of the sharpness and strength of his teeth that the blood gushed out [indecipherable]. It did not continue long but the wounded man brought a handful of hair from the head of his antagonist ere he “gave in”. The women of the combatants were weeping and lamenting bitterly in loud shrieks the whole time.


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May
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22nd. With the exception of Otoo, Orepaia, and Hamminaminhay, the party returned from Paparra, not having succeeded in their stratagem of getting the arms.
The watering party was not in the least molested today. The fellow so recently punished, was about us, exhibiting even with humour, the marks of its effects to his companions.
23rd. Among our visitors was old Mereea widow of the exposed dead chief at Oparrey, (Mow-oroah) and women in abundance. My cabin was soon crowded, where beads was distributed to many of them. Edeea was highly gratified on my presenting her some English cloth, promising largely in return.
Pomaurey, with other Chiefs, having in the evening to pass One Tree Hill and it being extremely dark, had sent their Towtows to prepare fires at different parts of the road; these had communicated with a quantity of high reeds, causing a brilliant illumination over the whole bay. It was the only instance during our stay of the Chiefs being assisted this way in their journeys; indeed travelling by night rarely happens, nor is an O’tahytean often seen out of his house after the day has closed.
24th. We were again alarmed at night by a thief near the ship, yet, notwithstanding the shore party were posted along the beach, and the boats in pursuit, his activity in the water was so great he effected his escape. But they are so early habituated to this element, and remain so long under its surface that our pursuits on such occasions were always tedious and frequently in vain. When nearly within grasp they dive, nor is it possible to tell in what direction they will rise.
Most likely you have been shooting, or rather shooting at loons and divers, on some of the


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“American waters”, if so, you may form a tolerable idea of an O’tahytean in the Sea.
From the gangway of the Providence, I have frequently seen children eight or nine years of age leap into the sea for beads fifteen or twenty feet below the surface, scarcely ever failing to rise with the reward of their exertions. Their vision under water must be astonishingly clear, as when the smallest beads have been thrown into it, several yards asunder, after securing some, they have returned with the same success to others in a different direction. Doubtless the sea among these Islands (which indeed is the case in most tropical latitudes) being so very translucid, greatly aids the distinguishing of objects in it.
While speaking of the agility of these people in the water it is impossible to help reflecting how little the qualification of even swimming, is cultivated in our own country. To sailors and soldiers it is particularly useful and should be encouraged by every means. Yet even among the former, who may be said to live on the deep, how small the proportion of those who can swim.
26th. In the morning Guthrie and myself left the Post for Whapiano to examine a war canoe of which great praise had been given by Pomaurey - its usual in all our walks, several natives joined us, and it was with difficulty we prevented the party being too crowded.
A spot was pointed out to us where one of the recent battles had been fought and many of the trees exhibited deep marks from the stones of slings. These weapons in the hands of a resolute people would occasion sad destruction. The O’tahyteans use them with great skill, but their timidity,


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which seems excessive, prevents any warfare being carried on with energy.
On our way we called on Whidooah, who instantly ordered a hog to be prepared for the oven. Tai Aiva his wife, was breakfasting on fish barely warmed according to the custom of the Island, alone in a small shed about fifty yards from the house.
Whidooah,next brother to Orepaia appeared about seven and twenty. His countenance was handsome and figure elegant, both of which had been much injured by an unrestrained use of Yava. As a warrior he was esteemed the best in the Island and had killed Maheeny, a chief of Moreea. It is true that the manner of his death gave nothing heroic to the conquerors as he was seized by several Towtows while Whidooah beat out his brains with a stone. Much confidence however seemed to be placed in this prince by the state, but he appeared a complete voluptuary and from the account given us his indulgencies were so various, it was difficult to believe them true at O’tahytey.
He was among the few who entertained jealousy of his wifes conduct. Tai Aiva was considered as the Belle of the Island, as well by the English as her own countrymen, and the temptation to seduce her from “the right path” were various and often repeated, but in vain. Ruffled or unruffled, she was still the same cold repellent fair one. Had Tai Aiva been more yielding, the ward robe of many an English Chief would have been expended and this kindly Isle far the richer in various sorts of foreign drapery. Little credit was given her by her own sex,


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this sturdy denial being alone attributed to the dread she entertained of offending her Lord, to whom she was very inferior in blood. In this surely there was some merit due to her. Let us at the same time soften the guilt of others, whose husbands and relatives rather promoted than suppressed a more complying conduct.
The Whapiano was crossed several times, as usual on mens shoulders before we reached the shed under which the canoe was building. The dimensions were as follows [indecipherable]
Extreme length - 70 feet
Extreme breadth at about one third from the stern - 3 ¾
Height at the stern - 17
Height at the head - 11 ¾
Like the common canoe it was formed by a number of pieces sewed together, the same being paved over with a thick composition, not unlike pitch. On the head and stern was the rude figure of a man. It had seven knees or timbers of a single piece of wood. About the sides, head and stern, were carved figures of turtles and lizards, and on the forepart was placed an Eparrey no Eotooa the wooden case which has before been mentioned to shelter the diety in. It also served him as a sleeping place.
I never saw a canoe decorated for any religious occasion without an Eparrey no Eotooa being affixed to it.
In a shed near at hand was a piece of carved work twenty feet in length to be erected as an ornament on the stern, and a conical helmet formed of bamboo, decorated with cocks feathers, to be occasionally worn by the priest. The canoe was a full quarter of a mile from the Whapiano, yet when finished, was


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O’tahytey
to be carried to it by the means of poles on mens shoulders. We were informed that it was small when compared to some in the Society islands. Mahu told us that at Orieterah he had one that employed several men to steer it. This one on the stocks, and another smaller at Oparrey, were all we heard of in the neighbourhood of the ship. How different the state of the O’tahyteyan Navy when Captain Cook described the armament at Oparrey in 17 .
Tupira, who was at his stronghold some distance up the river, learning that we were in the neighbourhood, soon paid us a visit, and what seemed rather inexplicable, accompanied us to the house of his enemy Whidooah. The two chiefs hardly noticed each other, but this coolness did not prevent Tupira assisting us to demolish the hog of his antagonist with a good appetite, while he informed us that the greater part of the furniture we were using, had been taken from him in the late attack. We could only conjecture that our presence was a protection to Tupira. Yet could Whidooah have made him prisoner on his return from accompanying us part of the way to Matavai had such been the object.
The hog was served up whole with baked breadfruit and plantains. Milk from the cocoa nut was our beverage and salt water the sauce to our meat. From having frequently used it as a substitute for salt, so easily are our prejudices surmounted I found it equally palatable.
Pahraihea, a chief of Whapiano behaved with much kindness, insisting that we should not return to the ship without a live hog, and our friend Tupira loaded our attendants with a variety of fruits.


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 27th. Orepaia returned this day from his unsuccessful expedition to Paparra.
Pomaurey and his wives dined on board during which a native arrived from an eastern district with an invitation from its Chief to Captain Bligh. As a token of his friendship he brought the branch of a particular tree, to the end of which the Captain fastened a red feather as an acknowledgement.
Edeeas feelings were put to the test at dinner by our commander expressing his surprise that she thought so little of the illness of one of her children left at Paparra. She for a few minutes wept bitterly, exhibiting every symptom of unfeigned grief, when drying her eyes, laughter soon succeeded and the child no more intruded on her thoughtless disposition. It was the same with Whyhereddy a few days before on being offended with a favourite Towtow. Her tears flowed copiously, when, in almost the same moment, she was romping about the cabin like a hoyden. The besotted partiality of Pomaurey to this silly women was as extraordinary as his total neglect of poor Edeea. To variety, and her being several years younger it could alone be attributed, for in manners and disposition she was in every way inferior. What should we think in England, indifferent as our manners seem to be approaching of two sisters living under the same roof with a man in the most cordial harmony, the elder one utterly repudiated for the scarcely ripened charms of the younger? Nay, this very neglected sister was fully acquainted how false the favourite was to their Lord’s bed, yet with the most yielding unconcern concealed it from him. This is being even more cool than


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what we hear of our philosophic enemies composing the “ great nation” whose morals, God avert from our own little Island. We want them not.
In the afternoon the King Regent had taken such an immoderate dose of Gava in addition to the Captains wine as to become so unmanageable it required several men to confine him. He exhibited every symptom of a violent epileptic fit.
It rained exceedingly part of the day, but on clearing up, a bright gleam of sun produced one of the most beautiful fresh landscapes conceivable, every hill and tree being enlivened by the showers.
The O’tahyteean seldom loses an opportunity of bathing in fresh water. Whyereddy in the middle of the rain surprised our frail nerves by suddenly emerging from the cabin in a state of nudity. She was a wicked jade, and we should all have been much more pleased had it been Tailtian or Warrianow.
After getting thoroughly soaked and playing numerous tricks and sportive gambols to a congregation that - of course- increased on such an occasion, she as suddenly disappeared to enrobe herself in the cabin, but, not without leaving us in admiration and wonder, at the ingenuity with which she disposed of her pliant and beautifully moulded limbs yet seemingly accidental and unstudied while they scarcely presented a shade of what she aimed at concealing.
Edeea took leave of us for a few days having heard of the death of her child in its passage from Paparra to Oparrey.


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She seemed scarcely affected on the occasion, yet some of the officers saw her afterwards at Oparrey all the “mockery of woe”. She was preparing for the grievous ceremony when the party met her. In exhibiting a sharks tooth wrapped around with cloth, the sharp point being bare, it was with a smile on her countenance. The time at length arriving for lamentation, she began and continued wounding her head the blood flowing about her in streams. The period of sorrow over, she assumed her wonted cheerfulness.
29th.. A reply of poor Mideedee to Captain Bligh at dinner gained him much credit. The Captain was gently reproving him for something which had been neglected. He urged forgetfulness as an excuse. And how came that Mideedee Aymawhitey (I do not know) said he to our Commander nor how you came to forget the skyrocket you promised us. Mideedees retort was so just that Captain Bligh assured him that he should soon have the fire works.
June 4th. In honour of our Royal Masters birth day, the two vessels were dressed with Flags, and we all appeared more than usually grand in our apparel. Salutes were fired, as well as at the Port a great concourse of natives attending the carronade with which they were highly gratified. This loyalty when so remote from our nation gained us the unqualified approbation of these good people nor without their participating in it most cordially as our Allies.
With several chiefs I took the birth day dinner at our post with my late valuable friend.


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May, June
O’Tahytey
The whole royal family, except the gay, the jovial Whidooah were the Captains guests on board. Whidooah soon became warm and vociferous in praise of the Ereedahy no pretancy Keen Yore (King George) and our country, but yielding at length to the powerful influence of our Teneriffe wine, he sunk into the arms of sleep and ebriety.
The day passed cheerfully, nor in drawing a comparison between civilized Europe and this happy Isle, did the scale incline much in favour of the former.
In the evening a variety of fireworks were exhibited for the gratification of the natives, as well as two paper balloons which had been prepared for the occasion. One of them succeeded beyond my expectations, taking a direction towards Moreea, nor did we lose sight of it for nearly a quarter of an hour. These balloons were (I believe) the first ever displayed at the Island, and I cannot but confess that I felt some degree of mortification at the natives not expressing stronger marks of surprise and satisfaction; with the rockets they were infinitely more pleased; perhaps, having no Stationers Shop on the Island, I felt sore at not being able to get a fresh supply of silver paper. Of rockets, there were more in store.
6th. Captain Bligh early in the morning sent me to Tetaha, a district seven or eight miles westward of the ship to procure provisions; the supply, particularly of bread fruit, having decreased considerably. I first landed at Point Venus before day break, for Pomaurey
[In margin]
Forster, in May 1774 says, for the evening we let off a few sky rockets, and some air balloons. Vide Forster’s Voyage Vol. 1, Page 101 - GT 1828.
But Quere? Had any balloons been exhibited so early as in 1774? Even in Europe.


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who was to accompany me and use his influence in the district. His Majesty did not think proper to embark without first having his breakfast, which consisted of about three pounds of baked fish; nor was it without much difficulty that I persuaded him to quit the false Whyhereddy. Poor neglected Edeea was reposing on a couch hard by.
He was very facetious the whole way down, undertaking to pilot the boat between the coral reefs into Tetaha, and imitating our manner of conning. On first landing, he ordered the slaughter of a hog for dinner, and then proceeded in search of plantains, without much ceremony to the proprietors of such as fell in our way. Indeed had not this prompt measure been taken, we should have returned to the ship empty, not a single bunch being voluntarily brought to him. Walking about two miles westward, the boat followed the windings of the coast as near as a coral bank would admit. Here the country was even more populous than at Matavai or Oparrey. The plain was not so broad, but the small rising hills near the coast were abundantly clothed with bread fruit, Avee, Eratta (a large kind of chestnut) and various other trees, the houses being distributed among them in a picturesque manner. A Toopapow was here pointed out to us, where the corpse of one of the mutineers children had lain, previously to its being buried.
Monah, an old chief who frequently visited the Providence, resided in this district, and had prepared refreshments of various fruits for us. At the extent of our walk Pomaurey made a seizure of more plantains; after which we were carried above a quarter of a mile on mens shoulders, over the

 


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coral bank to the boat, and embarked for our first landing place, where we found the hog smoking from the oven, nor was it long, with the assistance of the boats crew and good appetites, ere most of it was demolished.
In general the chiefs did not partake of meals with their guests. So it was this day with Pomaurey who, retiring about an hundred paces to the shade of a bread fruit tree took his meal alone, first bathing in an adjoining stream, a practice seldom omitted, and which is truly indicative of the cleanliness of these people. His dinner was of fish which, in our way from Matavai he had taken out of a canoe, the fisherman not at all appearing dissatisfied with the regal theft.
About three miles westward of where our dinner was taken, a small Island nearly joins the mainland, but there appeared to be sufficient water for canoes to pass. Many flocks of wild ducks were here seen. It may be remarked that the wild duck of Otahytey although web footed, commonly perches on trees. (44.) Swallow (54.)
A bird called Otatarrey (54.) was here shot, being about the size of a skylark and very similar in plumage. In the morning and evening, particularly after rain it has a note nearly approaching to that of the thrush. In some ponds up the stream a small kind of Moorhen was observed. Omawmow (53.)
The birds of this Island are not of great variety, and it is a curious fact that there are none of the Hawk species. Of Herons there are two kinds, the one of a dark lead colour (56.) the natives bear a superstitious reverence towards, being always displayed at


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our shooting them. Parrot, or Ah Ah (55.). The green dove, and small blue paroquet (Veney) are both brilliant in their plumage (53.). They were brought to us in great numbers without being the least injured; but by what way they are taken I cannot say. One fellow who had made himself useful about the post, I employed to get some. He was absent in the mountains three days, returning with about two dozen, not at all injured or disfigured. Great pains were taken to bring them to England, but with scarcely any success. On quitting the Island I had above forty, apparently in high health, but a few months occasioned a mortality of the whole, both doves and paroquets. One pair of the latter, if I recollect right, reached Lady Banks, which the gunner had by uncommon attention saved.
These little birds are about the size of a common house sparrow; they have all the character of the largest parrot except that of the imitation of speech. The colour is a beautiful dark blue, with a white throat, and yellow bill and legs. There are of sea fowl, Sheerwaters, Tropic birds, Noddies, and a small kind of Gull, with some others. In bad weather, which was rare, the small black Petterel (mother Carys chicken) was occasionally seen in the bay. Sand larks, Sea Shanks, and two or three kind of Curlews, frequent the shores and coral banks (57.).
A light western wind accompanied the boat nearly to Oparrey, where we met the fresh sea breeze. Our course had been along the reef at about thirty yards distance, the bottom of coral, being visible nearly the whole way, although of


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considerable depth.
Pomaurey slept quietly by my side, until he was alarmed from his afternoons nap by my firing at a curlew, which produced a conversation on firearms (Boobooey). He had some time before accused me of being afraid (Matow) for not suffering him to navigate the boat inside the reef. It appeared a good opportunity to retort on him, but this he did not at all feel, making no secret of his want of courage, saying it was not necessary for a king to go into battle, and concluded by asking if ”Keen Yore” (King George) ever did. On being answered in the negative, he seemed more than usually pleased exclaiming Miti Miti (good) but he could not be persuaded that it was not from want of personal courage in our Ereedahy.
The effect of early habit is particularly strong in the different characters of the O’tahytean Royal family. Pomaurey from being taught that a King should not appear in battle, is the most pusillanimous man possible without feeling the least stigma attached to it, while Orepaia and Whidooah arrogate no small degree of consequence to themselves as warriors, and are deemed the bulwarks of the state. There was another brother who seldom visited the Providence of the name of whose person was very inferior to the rest and, we were told, equally deficient in understanding. Most probably young Otoo has already been instructed in attending to his personal security. At a very early period the Eree da hy meets the regard and reverence of his people. Before France by its revolutionizing


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June
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system had reached the sanguinary disorder now to be found there; no Frenchman ever spoke of the “Grand Monarque” with more heartfelt pride and exultation than every individual of this island does of the Eree da hy. No wonder then that they use every care and precaution for his safety. His parents, and his parents parents, ever approach him with the most submissive respect. These have I seen, while humanity revolted at the sight, uncover themselves and bow before the royal stripling, by early habit taught to view the tottering palsied limbs of his grandsire thus nakedly degraded and exposed, without the slightest emotion of pity or compassion. Such is custom.
Bread fruit was now so scarce that it was with difficulty Pomaurey procured any for our repast, yet the trees around were teeming with young fruit of the approaching season. It would appear that the natives are supplied nearly throughout the year with this valuable fruit as it was now making rapid progress towards maturity and a few of the preceding season still on the tree. The rest had been cropped and made into a kind of paste called Mahee, which keeps a considerable time. It is not with confidence that I speak respecting the seasons of the bread fruit (Ooroo) it being collected from the chiefs, who stated that the Island is not above a month without it, which takes place about the middle of the year.
They enumerated nearly thirty kinds, yet differing but little in taste, or indeed in the appearance of the tree, except that the leaves are more or less indented at their edges. I am


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denied giving a botanical description of this nutritious fruit, indeed, you must ere this, have seen the tree in our Colonies, however in an early state; I shall only observe that of all vegetable substitutes for bread, it appears the most promising yet discovered.
(2) Means maybe found perhaps, to granulate it, but this we were not able to effect in the Providence. Baked whole in the ground oven was found to be the best way of cooking it. I do not know when I experienced more gratification than, during a recent visit to New Providence in the Bahamas, on seeing a fine bread fruit tree nearly twenty feet high in W. Forbes garden, which but a few years ago was embarked on board the Providence at O’tahytey, when not as many inches. At Bermuda a few have been tried without success. Of the fate of some left at St Helena in 1792 I am altogether ignorant, but should fear that, the soil was not farmable to them.
The earliest account I have seen of the Bread fruit, is in the voyage of Mendana de Neyra in 1595, from Peru to settle the Solomon Isles. The Editor says.
“Mendana de Neyra discovered the same year the islands he called Marquesas where a tree is described to yield a certain fruit which comes to be like the head of a boy, whose colour when ripe is a clear green, and extremely green when unripe; the outside appears with cross rays like the pine apple; the figure is not quite round, it is somewhat narrower at the point than at the foot; from hence grows a core which reaches to the middle, and from this


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core a web. It has no stone or kernel, nor anything useless except the outside and it is thin, the rest is one mass, with little juice when ripe, and less when green. Much were eaten in every way. It is so delicious that they called it blanc manger. It was found to be wholesome and very nourishing. The leaves of it are large and very jagged in the manner of the papays.”
The above description is doubtless meant for the bread fruit, and I have given you this extract as well as a former one respecting the Yava (Cana) merely to point out that the chief sustenance of the natives of the South Sea Islands, as well as their favorite intoxicating beverage, did not differ two centuries ago from the present hour.
19th. Edeea this day sent me a hog and some bread fruit, the latter being a great rarity. Boiled plantains and a kind of yam (Tarro) were issued as a substitute to the crew. Not an ounce of European bread had been expended since our arrival, and so familiar had our palates become to the vegetable kind as not at all to feel the deprivation of the “Kings own”. The supply of yams was never bountiful and of but an inferior quality; sweet potatoes were still more difficult to be procured. Tarro was generally in plenty, and cocoa nuts were ever brought to us in amazing numbers. It was calculated that the daily expenditure of these fruit, on board the Providence, her consort, and at the Post amounted to above a thousand, the milk from them being our common beverage. In our own colonies the


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June
O’tahytey
cocoa nut is not considered as by any means wholesome, but the conviction of its salutary effects on our people at O’tahytey disposes me to doubt the truth of such an opinion.
26th. Early in the morning, Captain Bligh sent me to Tetaha in search of a native who had stolen a bag of linen from the Post. Pomaurey accompanied me to assist on the occasion. A few days before a fellow had been discovered concealed under one of the boats, who notwithstanding, effected his escape after being fired at by the centinel. The traces of his having been wounded was visible, a considerable way among the rushes. The Matavaians disclaimed his being of their district, saying he belonged to Tetaha. There was therefore a probability of hearing of him also in our excursion.
 Mr. Portlocke left Matavai before us for Atahourou the next district south of Tetaha to bring up one of the Matildas boats which had been left there by some of the crew. We landed with the cutter to the west of a small Island at the most distant part of Tetaha, in a cove where there was twelve or fourteen feet water close to the shore, notwithstanding, till this convenient spot presented itself, the boat could not approach within an hundred yards of the beach for the coral banks. A small stream, separating Tetaha and Atahourou runs into this cove.
Leaving a petty officer with the boat, Pomaurey, myself, and a few of the crew continued our route, about three miles, following the windings of the


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shore, which here took a southerly direction, when we reached the house of the person suspected by the Matavaians, but found he had received intimation of the pursuit and absconded. On our entering the house, a young plantain tree was placed at the feet of Pomaurey as an acknowledgment of friendship, the women declaring that the man was innocent and had absented himself entirely from fear.
After representing the injustice of the act, by saying that the English were never guilty of stealing from the natives, we took our leave, but not without a threat that, if the linen was not returned, Captain Bligh would send a party to the district and destroy the houses. This, they said, were they guilty would be right but still pleaded innocent, condemning the thief in loud and angry terms.
Pomaurey exerted himself but little on the occasion which, after so long a journey from Matavai rather displeased me. This was the second expedition I had made with him on business, and it served to confirm me in an opinion I had formed of his indolence and want of authority. His brother Orepaia ever settled any disputes we had with the natives, in a more prompt and satisfactory manner. The Towtows had prepared two baked hogs for our dinner, but the King Regent, after bathing in fresh water, took his meal, as usual, alone.
In the afternoon Mr. Portlocke returned with the Matildas boat, bringing with him some chiefs from Atahourou, one of whom was marked to a very great degree with the


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O’tahytey
scurf attendant on too great an indulgence in Yava. Every part of his body was covered with a rough scaly skin, his eyes seemed wild and wandering, and, although a fine young man under thirty, every limb was sadly enervated. Notwithstanding the rapid and dreadful havoc this baneful beverage makes on the human frame, by abstinence it wears off, the skin becomes smooth, and the bodily powers regain their pristine vigour.
The voluptuary of O’tahytey, like the shattered, unhinged debauchee of our civilized metropolis, when every indulgence sickens on the sense, withdraws to a spot, where by self denial his health is restored. The small Island of Tetheroa but a few leagues northward of Point Venus, abounding chiefly with fish and cocoa nuts, is his Margate or Tunbridge and is frequently resorted to on such occasions.
July 3rd. As the time approached for our departure, we began watering the ship from Matavai river. It has been observed that her capacity for stowage was very considerable, which was indispensable as we had a long and arduous passage to make by Torres Straits to Timor before this necessary article could be replenished. The plants, it must be remembered, would require no small portion, every cask was therefore filled, which completed the stock to above an hundred tons. (46.) (49.)
4th. Some of the Matildas crew who had been at Oyteepeeah on the eastern peninsula


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reported having seen a cask and some other floating articles that had been on board when the ship was wrecked.
8th. The major part of the Royal family dined on board, all of them, but Pomaurey, who seldom put aside his native dress for European finery, appearing in sumptuous apparel. Edeeas dress was truly ridiculous, being a crimson coat with gold button holes, brought purposely from England by Captain Bligh as a present for her husband - Whyhereddy differed from her sister in wearing blue. One had a sheet wrapped round her waist, and the other a table cloth. Orepaia exhibited himself in a Captains uniform coat which had been given to him by Captain Edwards of the Pandora.
They supped and slept on board. Their whole conversation was now with great feeling on our departure. We were told that the ceremony of wounding the head with a sharks tooth would take place, and A’row A’row Te Tye (a deal of crying).
Being employed at the watering place, Edeea learning it with her usual kindness and consideration, sent every refreshment the Island afforded; and if with the assistance of our seamen a large baked hog was not demolished, I was abundantly gratified in filling the bellies of several of her towtows, young and old partaking of her “Barbecue”.
The remainder of the week was employed in preparations for sea; provisions reached us in abundance.
14th. More than half of the plants were this day embarked, and in the most healthy state, the natives assisting to convey them to the boats, yet not without


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July
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heavy hearts at the thoughts of our departure. It was unsettled weather on the following day, which prevented the remainder being brought on board, but until night the two vessels were attended by canoes laden with various supplies. Hogs were so numerous that many could not be received for want of room to accommodate them. Fowls, the only kind of poultry on the Island, save a solitary gander left by Captain Vancouver a few months before, and which had become a “pet” at Oparrey, were difficult to procure. Was more attention paid to rearing them, they would soon be abundant.
Among other articles, a quantity of Mahee, which is bread fruit made, after fermentation, into a paste, was taken on board for the stock; this kept a considerable time and was very nutritious. Besides live hogs, a quantity of pork had been salted in the manner described by Captain Cook, which was found to answer equal to any cured in the European way.
Every hour served to convince me of the unfeigned sorrow of these gentle people at our approaching separation. For my Tayo, I made a selection of every article likely to add to her comforts, but she had unfortunately fixed her affections on a fowling piece. Fully convinced that weapons of a destructive kind should, if possible, be withheld from these naturally peaceful beings, I resisted her solicitations for a considerable time, but her heart clung to it, and she became so urgent that I could not deny my consent any longer, provided it met our commanders approval.


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This, by perseverance, she effected and the gun was received with the most greedy satisfaction.
Among other trifles she was left a small portrait of her Tayo with the dates of the arrival and departure of the Providence and Assistant at its back. And here James, I cannot refrain from remarking with what friendly care and reverence, a picture of Captain Cook by Webber (painted while at O’tahytey in his last voyage) was preserved by Pomaurey. Nothing I suppose could tempt this amiable chief to part with it. Much did I covet the polygraphic secret, to steal the portrait of this immortal navigator, which was said by those who knew him, to be a most striking resemblance. It has been customary for the different commanders of vessels visiting the Island to note on the back of this picture the time of their arrival and departure. Some other tablet must now be found, as visits have been so frequent, no more space is left. We were not a little hurt at only seeing the bare mention of the arrival and sailing of the Pandora, as our anxiety was great to know what steps had been taken to secure the wretched mutineers of the Bounty. In some degree we were relieved from the doubt by the communication of the Chiefs.
Mideedee, who has before been mentioned, determined about this time to accompany us to England, indeed, there was, I believe, scarcely an individual that would not with a little persuasion have embarked with us. The friends of poor Mideedee, however anxious, have vainly looked for his return among them. Voluntarily he quitted his own thoughtless countrymen,


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in search of more enlightened ones, but in a few short weeks after setting his foot on the british shore a british grave received him.
Several men, late of the Matilda, now embarked for a passage home, but four or five remained by choice on the Island, one of whom was a jew convict that had come in her from Port Jackson. To those who remained, Captain Bligh with great consideration, addressed a letter exhorting them to peace and good conduct, but if unfortunately, after the departure of the Providence, hostilities should take place to give their assistance to the Royal party. Old Hamminaminhay, the high priest, was charged with this letter who notwithstanding his confidence in our commander, brought it to several of us to know if it was miti (good) which on being assured, gave him great relief.
16th. In the morning, the remainder of the plants were taken on board, amounting, with those already embarked, to
Bread fruit or Ooroo - 780 large pots, 301 small pots, 35 tubs, 26 boxes - The major part contained more than one plant. Many of them, three or four plants.
Avee or O’tahitean Apple - 8 large pots, 17 small pots.


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E’Mattey - 5 large pots, 1 small pot - A beautiful red dye is produced with the E’Mattey and E’ttow. The juice of the berry of the former and leaf of the latter.
E’ttow - 2 large pots, 4 small ones
A’ayah - 4 large pots, 31 small ones - A fruit in some degree resembling the Avee.
Oraiah - 10 large pots - A superior kind of Plantain.
Vahee - 2 large pots
Peyah - 7 large pots - The root of the Peyah is made into a delicious pudding.
Eratta or Chestnut - 18 large pots, 17 small pots.
Other rare Plants - 8 small pots, 2 tubs.
If you refer to the “Plan and Section” of the Garden on board the Bounty (which is among your father’s books) it will give you a more perfect knowledge of our method of stowing the plants than anything I can say. It may however be observed that, as well as the great cabin of the Providence, both sides of the after part of her quarter deck were fitted at O’tahytey for the same purpose, leaving narrow gangways next the skylight for the movements of the crew.


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Accompanied by a vast concourse of natives, our Commandant of the Post, with Pearce and his marines, in the afternoon marched to Point Venus, where boats were in readiness to embark them. When they put off from the shore three cheers were given by the crews and returned by the more numerous Islanders, who shed many a tear on the occasion.
Before the day closed Captain Bligh sent me to fill a few casks of water. Not a native was to be seen as grief had drawn them to the other side of the Matavai. It was the first evening for more than three months that Point Venus had not been the scene of festivity and good humour. Our encampment was deserted; a flagless staff bespoke its evacuation, and great was my relief from such a cheerless spot when I returned to my associates on board.
The ship was unmoored and launch hoisted in, the next morning. Many improvements, as well as to the other boats had been made during our stay to render them more safe in case of accident to the ship in the subsequent part of the voyage, which was by far the most perilous. And as the crew was increased, one of the Matildas boats was taken on board.
Both vessels were tumultuously crowded with natives of both sexes, heavily laden with various farewell presents for their English Tayos, who not ungrateful to the kindness of these good people, were equally liberal in return. Young Otoo was about us the whole day nearly, in his canoe, but as usual could not be persuaded to come on board; the only instance where an unlimited confidence was not placed
[In the margin]
The boats were able to contain all the crew in case of shipwreck.


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in us, and we were willing to attribute it to the custom of not entering any house but his own.
There was no Heeva or merriment in the evening. Many at sunset took their leave with a tearful eye, while others continued on board the whole night unwilling to lose the last attentions of such of our shipmates as they were attached to.
18th. Numbers of canoes were around us by early dawn bringing yet more provisions. The ship being so crowded we could hardly move. In the offing there was a strong trade wind, but, to the great delight of the natives, Matavai bay was becalmed.
After dinner the anchor was weighed when, with the assistance of the boats, accompanied by our consort, we reached the sea breeze.
As we increased our distance from the shore the natives reluctantly quitted us; many vainly strove to follow in their canoes expressing their sorrow by loud and reiterated lamentations, while some who had particularly attached themselves to the vessels or the post, were seen tearing their hair, and heedless of the pain, wounding their heads with a sharks tooth as on the death of a relation.
Pomaurey, Orepaia, Edeea, and several Chiefs continued on board all night during which a safe situation was kept in the offing. It might be almost said that we had the whole Court on board, yet such was their good faith, the cruise did not at all alarm them.
19th. Early in the morning, the vessels


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stood in towards Oparrey.
Captain Bligh had bountifully supplied his Tayo Pomaurey and his other visitors with a variety of useful articles, and what particularly delighted the King Regent, our Commander was so strongly solicited for a musket, he could not resist giving one. This increased Pomaureys “armory” to about a dozen, for the supply of which he had a considerable quantity of ammunition. Besides those in his profession, there were about fifteen more in different parts of the Island. Unfortunately, in the use of them the natives are by no means ignorant.
The parting between Captain Bligh and his friends was kind and affectionate. They separated in the heart felt conviction of having no want of harmony and good will to reproach themselves with.
It was my lot to convey the chiefs on shore. The boat was heavily laden with their various presents, serving in some degree to dissipate their sorrow; yet could not poor Edeea imprison her tears, and had I encouraged such an infirmity, verily do I believe that, however “albeit unused to the melting mood” the whole boats crew would have admitted the sorrowful infection. Reaching Oparrey a vast number of the inhabitants were assembled to take the last look of their English friends. An old lady, who had been ceaseless in her visits to the ship, brought cocoa nuts and other fruit to refresh the boats crew. Captain Bligh was anxiously waiting our return which made my farewell interview with these happy


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Islanders but short; yet was it so distressing a one, I was glad to hurry from the scene. Old Toranos’s heart was full, and pressing my hand, she could only say Youra na t’Eotooa te meedey (God bless you on the deep).
Among the multitude, many were seen with whom we had been in constant habits of cordial intimacy and mutual kindness. When we left the shore not a word was heard, but every look beamed silent solicitude and concern for our safety, nor till long after the “less’ning boat” was safe on board and by the weather helm the ship obedient was “cast to sea” did they turn slowly from the beach to their peaceful habitation. (47.)
My pen is now about to quit this delightful Isle yet ere it does, a few more crude observations, which may not have found a place in the preceding sheets, shall be hazarded, under a conviction that from your knowledge of the early habits and avocations of the writer you will pass over with an indulgent eye, the inaccuracy of diction which cannot but too often occur. Such is almost inseparable from our “calling”. Wishing it were otherwise will avail nought; you must therefore take the “will for the deed” for the present, farewell. G.T.


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Chapter 7
Females congregate on board the Thetis. Men and women of O’tahytey. Cleanly to a degree. Early risers. Children swimming. [indecipherable] or Gentlemen. Dress and ornaments. Hair. Scissors. Teary. Mourning dress. War mat. Long nails. Population. Earcoye Society. Polygamy. Government monarchical. [indecipherable] Towtows. Labour of the females. Cloth. Women do not eat with the men. Fishing lines, hooks. Weapons. Not warlike. Heeva dance, now Hoopaowpa. Musical instruments. Language. Short vocabulary. Songs. Priests, etc. Missionaries. Laws. Diseases. Harwood administers to them. Insanity. Suicide. Not remarkable for longevity. The late Captain Clarke. Europeans left on the South Sea Islands. Account of natives visiting Europe. Omai. Natural deformity rare.
Thetis near Savannah March, 1797.
On a retrospect of the preceding sheets, it seems that I shall bid fair to weary you and therefore the sooner they are brought to a termination the better. Yet cannot I quit these children of nature,


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about whom there are still a few more fragments to “organize” without a confession that of late I have desired no small degree of satisfaction in “trying back”. You are not ignorant with what brittle materials the writer is constructed, and who has long fruitlessly courted a motto, which most of his neighbours seem, without much exertion, to be in possession of, to “take things as he finds them”. But t’wont do - nor will it to the “end of the chapter”.
Ever, instead of pushing strait forward in the highway, is he serpentining it to one side or the other, nor without stumbling into dilemmas of an esurine complexion, requiring more philosophy to surmount than has been portioned to him from above. Yet, perhaps it is owing to what in our squadron is called the “blue devils” where many long faces have been long looking out for promotion.
For these several days it has been my sad fate to be annoyed by a group of females, who, indecorously, and without humanity, congregate in the environs, on board the “good ship Thetis” of a certain place called the Round House. Not that I could ever discover what affinity it has to a building bearing the same name on shore, save indeed, that afloat it is for the purpose of giving one ease, and on terra firma to prevent our being troublesome.
However, in the hope that a dispersion will take place among these “fairest of Gods works”, I shall (if it meets the concurrence of my associates in hard suffering) beg their pity and consideration to the following petition, which, I most feelingly assure you is written under great anxiety of mind, and contortion of body.


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To the Washerwomen of the Thetis.
Where swell’d intestines seek to gain relief,
From indigested pease, or tougher beef,
That falling on the watry surface fair,
And in its progress odrous fills the air.
There stands a box, Y’clip’d a Round House, small
And by sols beams, scarce visited at all.
Where swine in concert why so like the fair?
But soft my muse, nor wound the female ear
Where Masters, Surgeons, and Lieutenants, all
Fain would get ease, when nature makes a “call”.
Where Cooks, and mates of Cooks, in greasy throng,
Crack the rude jest or chaunt the noisy song.
Where xx Jemmy Thompson ever “rules the roost”,
When poor oo Welch left us, for an “unknown coast”,
Why will ye fair ones wash, and talk, and scold,
And deep in suds, ship scandal fearless hold?
How, when our yearning tripes creak, piteously,
Have our fond hopes been damp’d by sight of ye,
And labring look’d for ease been sore deny’d,
When through the Scuttle damsels we’ve espy’d.
Forbear we cease, in pity to our grief,
Ponder our case, and grant the sought relief.
Don’t let us sue, sweet beauteous dames in vain,
Retire we beg, nor let us sit in pain?
Then will we speak for ever of your charms,
Pray that flat culls may fill your “love sick” arms,
Or that, when culls no longer are your aim,
Gin may be cheap, and raise another flame.
All this, and more, if such be your request,
If you but give our teeming bowels rest.
For when to disemboguing man’s inclin’d,
The power is lost at sight of female kind.
[In the margin]
xx The Captains Cook
oo A favourite [indecipherable] who, in a fit of melancholy, jumped overboard from the Galley port and was drowned.


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O’tahytey
In my sixfoot cabin, so little air, and such few rays of light reach me through a scuttle of about as many inches that most of my functions are lucubratory, while the fumes of the tallow assistant rise not many inches from the olfactory nerve. This, it must be supposed, drives me frequently on deck to inhale the cooler air. Indeed while the Thetis keeps in this quarter, eagerly seeking of Spanish gold, these sheets will be fitted up but slowly, for it is not often I can steal an hour from my busy vocation, and since I began writing to you a hiatus of a fortnight or three weeks, has often intervened.
The men of O’tahytey are of the middle stature; seeing them continually among our countrymen there seems no better standard to compare them by. The O’tahytean is not more muscular and strong, but in activity and pliancy of limb he exceeds the Englishman. By nature and habit they are indolent to a degree. Plenty is here as conspicuous as in any part of the globe, and when an Indian has only to visit a neighbouring tree to supply his wants, or should he covet more favourite food, paddle a mile or two in his canoe for fish, we cannot be surprised at his hatred to exertion. To what view is it exercised in Europe, where this enviable indolence is unknown? By the sick from ambition - and by the poor, unfortunately, from want. Here, it is not required and the activity of these Islanders is only seen in the hour of festivity and sudden occasion.
The countenance is free and open


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O’tahytey
nor scarcely ever furrowed with care or reflection. If there is any characteristic in their features, as in those of most Indians, it is a flatness of the nose, yet so trifling as to occasion scarcely any distention of the nostrils, but this among themselves is admired and encouraged by a prefuse when in a state of infancy. Their mouths are in general large, but in regularity of teeth they rival the universe. A dark penetrating eye is to be seen in the whole of them, in the women tempered by the most feminine softness, but, ( which is the case with every description of people of colour that have fallen under my notice in various distant parts of the world) the white has not that clearness common to the Europeans. The hair of both sexes is in general black and rather coarse, but in many instances it was red and brown. The women have been represented as considerably under the middle size, but this I could not discover. In symmetry of person, they are equal, particularly when age has not made its approaches to the most critical imagination, was not the contours of the figures hurt by the largeness of the feet owing to them not being in any way confined. Warianow, nor have I forgotten our Hottentot at the Cape, was a most interesting figure. He would have indeed been a bon bouche for the academic table at Somerset House.
They are clean to a degree, both sexes generally bathing thrice a day in fresh water and it is somewhat remarkable that, except the children for amusement, the salt water is never frequented but from necessity, and at these times, if a river be contiguous, they make a point of washing in it afterwards.
It is common to see the children at five or


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six years of age amusing themselves in the heaviest surf with a small board on which they place themselves outside the breaking, whence they are driven with great velocity to the shore, fearless themselves, nor are the least apprehensions of accidents entertained by their parents.
We are taught in England that bathing during the suns heat ia attended with dangerous effects. The O’tahyteans is a stranger to this doctrine. At the back of our encampment we had daily, when the sun was on the meridian, numbers of the softer sex refreshing themselves in the Matavae by the hour, as fearless of suffering from it as unconscious that I a more refined country it would be considered as highly indecorous and subversive of morality. Very true, our fastidious damsels bathe enveloped in a machine. Yet, if my memory be right I have somewhere read, and it is, I believe, to be found among the archives in Doctors Commons, of an English [indecipherable] being so vain of the finely moulded limbs of his wife that he could not refrain giving his Tayo a peep through one of these machines at them. Surely this was more like the pliant obliging South Sea Islanders than the jealous selfish englishman.
They rise with the sun, and the hour of repose is not much after it has set, though they are sometimes found keeping “later hours”. On these occasions the nut of the candle tree serves for light, the manner of using it being very simple. It is about the size of a chesnut, containing only matter. Several of them being perforated are stuck on a small reed which is lighted at the top, and


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July
O’tahytey
and as the first nut is expended the next supplies the reed with oil and so on to the bottom. It is I believe from this nut that the stain used in tatowingis prepared.
The Erees and Ratteras gentlemen sleep on a mat with a small wooden pillow for the head in the form of a stool. In traveling, which is chiefly by water, a portable house or shed is fixed on the prow of the canoe, scarcely large enough for two to sleep in. The towtows sleep on the bare ground in the open air, wrapped in the country cloth, but in rainy or severe weather, every Chiefs house is open to them.
The dress of both sexes is of their own cloth and different kinds of matting, thetowtows scarcely using anything but a girt around the middle. The Erees and Ratteras are more extravagant in their apparel. The common, a piece of the thickest cloth about three yards long and one in breadth, in the middle of which there is a hole for the head to pass through, is worn over the shoulder, the ends falling before and behind, leaving the arms at free scope. Sometimes a girt of mating or rope is worn over this round the loins. The women dress with the finer cloth in many fanciful ways, and have generally a small bonnet
(Tamowtow) made of the leaf of the Wharra (wild pine) as a protection from the sun. The male sex seldom cover the head, but the hair is encouraged to acquire a considerable length, being either fastened in a bunch at the crown, or hanging loose down the back. It is frequently anointed with Coco nut oil (Monerey) as a perfume as well as to promote its growth. The beard is eradicated, a few indeed were seen with it on the upper lip.
The women wear their hair shorter, but


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July
O’tahytey
in various ways. They are as strict votaries to fashion as our own fair countrywomen, and have as many little interesting tricks of accidentally displaying their dress and figure. The superior orders are seldom without a fly flap of cocks feathers, serving to draw your attention to the prettiest hands conceivable. At other times their taper fingers are employed plaiting the palmetto leave into a manufacture for hats. This last, they were taught by Europeans, and it has now become quite an article of trade. It was the ton during the visit of the Providence to wear the hair in furrows like the waves of the sea (Medey) and which made a pretty effect, yet was it seriously wished that the means by which it was effected had been removed, for, since the introduction of scissors paouty) these good girls have ever been clipping - one thing or the other - full as inviting without being clipped. The finest eye lashes and arched eyebrows in the world did not escape.
The prettiest ornament is a bandeau of the cape Jasmine(Teasy). In the morning after bathing in the stream and anointing the hair with coco nut oil, a flower of the Teasy is stuck in the lobe of each ear, which preserves its fragrance the major part of the day. Great pains is taken in the culture of this plant. The ear is also ornamented by many with a pearl drop, many of which of a good size but inferior quality are found about the Islands.
There are many peculiar dresses worn on religious,[indecipherable], and festive occasions. The mourning dress (Parrhy) is the richest, the apron of it consisting of about two thousand small regular pieces of the bright part of the Pearl oyster shell. The helmet is decorated


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July
O’tahytey
in the form of a Glory, with the tail feathers of the white as well as the red tailed tropic bird. Some hundreds of these feathers are on one dress, and when it is considered that there are but two feathers in each bird that will answer, the labour must be great in procuring them. My good father has one of these Parrhys in England thatEdessa gave me and which I was fortunate to get home in excellent preservation. An examination of it will satisfy you more than any description I can give. You will also see the Tawmey (war mat or Gorget) and several other South Sea articles.
Among other customs which may be mentioned that of the superior people, like the Chinese, suffering their nails to acquire a greater length than those in a more subordinate situation.
The Island has all the appearance of an extensive population* and if every part is as well inhabited from Whapiano to Atohouron, which embraces a distance of about twenty miles, there must be forty or fifty thousand , and there seems no reason why it should not be supposed the case, as every part is fertile and productive near the sea. Plenty sheds forth its blessing to such an extent that is nearly as little known as required, but with very little exertion the soil would support double the number above mentioned. It is chiefly on the low plain encircling the rising hills near the sea (and which is a forest of bread fruit that grows without planting) the native fixes his residence. The rest of the Island, by far the greater part, is scarcely ever seen by him, yet its soil is equal to produce almost every tropical fruit and grain. Except the Eareoye village at the foot of Otoos Horns, I never saw either hut or signs of cultivation four miles from the sea. In fact generally speaking, the natives reside on the
[In margin]
*Captain Cook estimated the inhabitants at two hundred thousand. In 1797 Wilson in the Duff, at about sixteen thousand. In the “Transactions of the Missionary Society 1804 only eight thousand and in Turnbull at a still inferior number. The Annual register 1804, speaking of the reduction in the inhabitants of O’tahytey observes “ We believe the principal reason to be wars between themselves”
    


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margin of it. Yet have you been given to understand that they are in dread of an over population to prevent which and to keep an equality of the sexes, every other female is destroyed at its birth. I can only say that such a custom never came within my knowledge or observation, and on reference to the chiefs on the subject they uniformly declared that the children of the Eareoyes, whether male or female, were the only ones doomed to this early fate, nor could they be persuaded of the inhumanity of the custom. An observation may be hazarded which is that, there appears no reason why the females should exceed in numbers to the other sex. They are both subject nearly to the same accidents, the same diseases, war, which in some countries may occasion a disparate, is here but little destructive. The sacrifices indeed, we were told, were always of the male sex, but they so seldom occur that joined to the very few slain in battle cannot make a great difference in the sexes as that the destruction of females is necessary to keep up the balance - without, and this is too intricate a research for your humble servant, and indeed to the profound , who in the critical eye explore the dark crevices of nature, little more than an amusing speculation.. - it could be proved that at O’tahytey a greater proportion of the female sex are really brought into the world. And here , I cannot help saying that in my walks about the Island where houses have been teeming with children , there ever appears an equality. Besides, in an Island where polygamy is encouraged and indulged by most of the chiefs, and better sort of people, indeed by everyone whose circumstances and inclination lead him, it is difficult to believe it. I may indeed be told that where polygamy
[In margin]
(and the neighbouring tribes, a tremendous epidemic which not long since ragged with peculiar mortality; the abominable crime of infanticide, and the paucity of females to males ; a paucity so extreme as that the latter are supposed to exceed the former in the proportion of ten to one. Whence we may infer that infanticide is far more)


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July
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is general in a country more females are born - but I am wandering from my narrative, nor without bidding fair to get out of my depth. Yet one observation shall not be withheld, as it aims at confronting the above position of more females being born . If a physical cause be assigned for it , should it not apply to the animal creation? It does not appear to be the case.
When our sea stock of chickens are brought on board, there are generally an equal proportion of either gender; this is also the case with our hogs, our sheep and our goats, yet the man who sold them declares that there is only one sovereign chanticlar in his farm yard, and the same of the quadrepeds. He then ensnares a covey of partridges . Still do [indecipherable] an equal number of either gender, although it is well known the old ones paired early in the spring and that the male bird is free from the charge of infidelity. How is this?
  
The Government of O’tahytey is monarchical, and perhaps in no part of the globe is the hereditary prerogative of royalty more zealously attended to. Art what age the heir apparent becomes Ereedahy (King) or assumes the reigns of government, I did not learn, but until it takes place a regent is appointed, generally the father, yet all Kingly respect is paid to the young prince. I could not understand when he was to cease being carried on mens shoulders. To marry into an inferior family is considered as a indelible disgrace. Orepaia and Whidooah uncles of Otoo, subdued by the power of ignoble beauty, were in this dilemma. The wife of the former had brought him a child, which he dared not acknowledge, passing it for a friends who had placed it under his charge, and by this evasion saved its life
       
[In margin]
(frequently perpetrated upon female than male children)


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July
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Although the power of the Ereedahy is allowed by the chiefs to be absolute and unlimited, yet in their different districts they have considerable influence with the lower orders. Insurrections are not unfrequent. The bold persevering conduct of Poenow and Tupira is a recent instance, and which, terminated in the royal party not being able to secure the muskets, these Chiefs conceiving them as their property from a prior possession on their being first landed from the Matildas boats.
Besides the Ereedahy, there are three classes of people, Erees, or Chiefs, Ratteras, or commoners, and Towtows, or lower orders indiscriminately whether as servants to Chiefs or not. In general, attention and respect is observed towards the Chiefs, yet is there a cordial familiarity and friendly intercourse among the whole which argues that they do not think there is that difference in mankind most among us are taught to believe. It is common to see groups of every description merrily conversing without the chilling spirit of rank intruding to restrain their social talk. Yet detach the more subordinate from such intercourse they will feelingly reiterate the name and praises of their Erees with unadulterated heartfelt pride and delight. Their Erees, whose ears are ever open to their complaints, and habitations to give them shelter.
In an Island where the women boast so many charms and have such influence, it is extraordinary that there are many occupations assigned them much better adapted to their more robust “Lords and Masters”. Towards low water they generally repair with a basket to the reefs in search of different marine productions, none


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O’tahytey
of which are rejected by the palate of the O’tahytean. I shall hardly be credited in saying that I have seen a lovely girl of fourteen or fifteen devouring a sea egg, without the aid of cookery with the keenest appetite and satisfaction.
The manufacturing of cloth falls also chiefly to the women. Never having been present at the whole process, I can only say that it is made from the bark of trees, chiefly that of the paper mulberry, which is cultivated for the purpose. Pieces are made several yards long without any visible joining, being beaten out with a wooden instrument on a plank to that extent.
It is of various kinds and although a comfortable protection in dry weather it will not bear much exposure to water. The thickest sort is formed by pasting close together two, three, or more pieces. It is dyed of various colours, red, brown, yellow, and black, but I saw none either blue or green. The yellow dye is from turmeric, which is found in most parts of the Island. With the juice of the Emaddey berry, and leaf of the Ettow, a bright red is produced. Both these plants were taken on board the Providence and (I believe) reached our Colonies in health. Means probably may be found of rendering the colour indelible which are unknown at O’tahytey. When they wish to affix any pattern on the cloth it is done by the impression of a leaf or any thing else they prefer, after being first wetted with the colour fixed on.
The white cloth acquires its fine colour from a long exposure to the air; some of it was so very soft and flexible that the Officers wore


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O’Tahytey
it for neckcloths, nor without a close examination could it be distinguished from muslin.
As well as cloth, matting is made of a very soft and beautiful texture, which is occasionally worn round the loins, falling before like an apron.
The women are prohibited eating in the presence of the other sex, yet it does not seem to proceed from a motive of delicacy on the part of the men, but in their considering the females as too subordinate to associate in one of their chief gratifications. But, without looking to the motive, I cannot but confess that the separation of the sexes among these people while satisfying the calls of hunger, met my most cordial approbation. Surely it is an occupation that needs not congregating in any country; or indeed but what should be got over without publicity of any kind.
Fishing lines and nets, some of the latter of a great (48.) size, are made with much strength and neatness; a shrub called ( ) and the husk of the cocoa nut being chiefly used for the purpose. Their hooks are variously formed of bone, wood, or shells, those used for ground fishing not being barbed, but when a fish is once hooked, to disengage itself is nearly impossible, nor can I help thinking that, hooks of this form might be used with better effect in our Newfoundland fishery than the common european ones. I am aware that they might not catch so quick, but from experience know that vast numbers of cod are lost, as well as much time, from their so easily loosening themselves after reaching thirty, forty, and fifty fathoms from the bottom. So partial are these Islanders to their form that it was common to see nails manufactured by them into such kind of hooks, on which they placed
[In margin]
Percival, speaking of the Ceylonese says, (1803) while at meals they seldom converse with each other; they seem to look upon the whole business of eating as something rather required by necessity than very consistent with decency. While drinking, they never turn their faces to each other.


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a much greater value than on the barbed ones brought from England. The larger ones with which the shark is taken, is made of the Toa tree, a hard kind of iron wood, some of them being full two feet in length.
A different sort, barbed, are used as an articifial fish for Dolphin and Bonetta, being made of the bright part of the pearl oyster shell, bone, and hogs bristles.
Their warlike weapons are the spear and sling, the former being from ten to twelve feet in length of Toa wood, and used missively, as well as in the manner of a club. In discharging stones from their slings they are very dexterous. A few short heavy clubs were brought on board that came from a neighbouring Island.
The soft voluptuous disposition of these people but ill qualifies them for hostile operations, nor do they indeed at all boast of being warlike; on the contrary acknowledge their inferiority as Tata Toas (warriors) to the inhabitants of many of the Islands near them, particularly of Bola Bola. Doubtless it is fortunate for them that Bola Bola is so much to leeward as to preclude its people from invading O’tahytey between which Islands there is no great degree of good will.
The bow and arrow are by both sexes used only as a recreation, large parties frequently meeting to try their skill; Edeea was considered to excel in this amusement. Another pastime is that of wrestling where much strength and agility are displayed. They also divert themselves in a game with a bread fruit, somewhat similar to football in England.
The Heeve has been mentioned already


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O’tahytey
(latterly indeed called Hoopaowpa) which word seems to apply to all their diversions as well as to dancing. There are many itinerant parties of dancers and musicians of both sexes, who, like our strolling players, visit the different districts being ever well received and taken care of by the Chiefs.
The musical instruments are rather destitute of soft sounds, being only a rude sort of drum, a fife which is played through the nose, and a trumpet, used on religious occasions, formed by a bamboo pipe fixed to a large conch shell.
In their dances short sentences are repeated, in which the performers all join, and they were not a little pleased at our ignorance of most of them, it being in general the “scandal of the day”. You must not from this infer that it is a language difficult to acquire, being perhaps of all others the most accessible. It is as soft and pleasing as the disposition of the inhabitants, being nearly free from every dissonant sound and composed chiefly of vowels. Some of our letters, C, G, J, L, S, K, Q, X, Z, seem unknown. Great quickness is used in speaking when the parties are much interested, and more gesticulation than in most european countries. The R, is the only letter which at all makes the language guttural, and it often occurs. You shall have a short vocabulary, by which you will be able to judge of the language better than from anything in my power to say. Where the emphasis is laid I have put a - dash over.


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July
O’tahytey
Airooroo - The hair
Aiootoo - The lips
Aiu - The nose
Aireroo - The tongue
Ah’ Imaeea - The eye lashes
Tu’ Imacca - The eye brows
Aiee - The neck
Aromaye - Come, or bring
Aimah whytey - I don’t know
A’vy - Water
A’ourey - Iron
Aia - The breast
Aimah - No
Boa - A Hog
Boanio - A Goat
Baubo - A Native who came home with us
Bobooey - A Musket
Bobooey, Etey, Etey - A Pistol, or little musket
Bobooey, da hy - A Cannon, or great musket
Bahy - Great, or large
Etta - The chin
Etooa - The back
Evaha - The mouth
Eno - Bad
Etey Etey - Small, little
Eree - A Chief
Eree da hy - A Great Chief, or King
Heneeo - The teeth
Hoomey, Hoomey - The beard
Hooha - The thigh
Irai - The Forehead
Maiu - The nails
Momoa - The heel
Monooey - Cocoa nut oil


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July
O’tahytey
Maneeo - The toes
Medey - The sea
Miti - Good
Meeree, Meree - Let me see?
Mow - To seize
Mow - A shark
Mow Tawmowtow - A shovel nosed shark
Tawmowtow - A Bonnet
Maa - To eat
Maade Tata - A Canibal or Man eater
Marama - The Moon
Mahanna - The Sun
Mahanna Topa - After sun set
Ooree - A Dog
Ooree Pevarrey - A Cat
Ooree Tata - A monkey, or Dogman
Tata - A Man
Ooroo - Bread fruit
Oboo - The Belly
Otoo - Name of the King, or Eree da hy
O’tahytey - Name of the Island
Orepaia - Uncle to the King
Otow - Grandfather to the King
Obereroah - Grandmother to the King
Oparrey - The district West of Matavai
Mideedee - A native who came home with us
Mideedee - A child
Papareea - The cheek
Peeto - The navel
Peerey Peerey - A virgin
Peerey Peerey - A plant like the burdock
Pahee - A ship, or vessel
Paupa - The Hip
Pomaurey - The King Regent, father of Otoo


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July
O’tahytey
Rema - The hand
Rattera - A man of middling rank
Taponoo - The shoulder
Tarreea - The Ear
Toorey - The knee
Tabouai - The foot
Tamou - Plaited human hair worn like a turban
Towrow - A rope
Tawmey - A Gorget or war mat for the breast
Towtow - A servant, or man of low degree
Towrowmey - Chaffing, and pressing the limbs
Tepey - A Knife
Tai Aiva - Name of Whidooah’s wife
Whidooah - Uncle of Otoo
Wauriddey - Angry
Whyhereddy - Pomaurey’s younger wife
Waheyney - A wman
Whitey - Yes, or I know
Yavy - The Leg
Yava - An intoxicating liquor
*Youra na T’Eotooa - God bless you
Matow - Fear or afraid
Topa te Medey - To jump into the sea
Mariddey - Cold
Doubtless you will find this vocabulary sufficiently extensive, you shall therefore only have in addition some of our names as they struck my ear when pronounced by the natives, with two or three songs.
Bligh - Beihe
Bond - Boney
Guthrie - Tooteray
Pearce - Pearthey
[In the margin]
*This expression is used by the Natives to each other when any one sneezes, exactly as we say “God bless you” in England.


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O’tahytey
Harwood - Harwootey
Providence - Proverenthy
Vancouver - Fannytopa
Christian - Titieano
Edwards - Etwartey
Tobin - Topeney
There were some in the ship whose names, the organs of speech of these people could not approach so as to bear any similitude. Gillespie, one of the petty officers, in particular. To Holwell they attached the term “All well” (losing the S), the words passed by our centinels after dark.
The following were among other lines generally repeated at our afternoon Heeva. The two first are of thirteen syllables, the emphasis, and not without some degree of symphony, being on the eighth in each line.
“Miti Miti Miti, Miti te peeir oboo”
2nd
“Miti Miti Miti, Miti te mato peya”
Another of nineteen syllables. “Teta Meitey, teta mea; Teta meitey, towro Owaurro”. The former are (I was told) in praise of the large water fall on Matavai river, and also of the Officers cabins; where indeed these cheerful damsels were sometimes known to rest their wearied limbs after the exertions of the Heeva. The O’tahyteans are not destitute of the best of attributes, gratitude; no wonder then that they thus sung the praises of what administered to their comforts.
The priests have not yet been noticed. They did not appear to be numerous.


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July
O’tahytey
Hamminaminhay, an old Chief of Orieteeah the Tayo of Pearce, we always understood to be at the “head of the Church” but however orthodox in his devotions, few of the laity were so licentious and deprvared in their habits. It is impossible for me to speak with any degree of certainty as to their religion. Idolatry is so far followed that they worship through the medium of images scarcely a house being without them, and when taking a journey, being sufficiently portable, they were never left behind. They recount various deities; of the sea, the woods, and several others, all of which are appealed to on different occasions. It would not seem that they congregate at stated periods to offer their devotions. I have heard old Hamminaminhay after dining with us, no other native being in company, repeat a long prayer with great quickness for the space of half an hour. Death certainly cannot be considered by them as an immediate or “eternal sleep” as, for a considerable time, until the flesh decays and the bones are finally placed in the Morais, the dead are supplied with viands and articles of dress.
It was as ridiculous as fruitless, in my humble opinion, attempting to make them acquainted with our religious tenets. Yet has such a plan been frequently talked of and indeed it was in contemplation to send out Missionaries in the Providence to convert these amiable people. Several have since (I hear) actually reached O’tahytey without being well received, the natives begging them to depart and promulgate their doctrines elsewhere.
I am neither brave or fashionable


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O’tahytey
enough to be a sceptic - few indeed are the former, whatever they may profess. Yet, believing as I do, I cannot reconcile to myself either the wisdom or goodness of extending Christianity to distant worlds full as virtuous as ourselves. Doubtless in this feeling I may be wrong; still I cannot put it away. Besides, how is it to be effected? From what has fallen within the scope of my observation on this side of the Atlantic, where the numbers of missionaries are rapidly increasing, their doctrine seems wholly to be terror. Mercy is almost wrested from the Almighty, and not his attribute, while the chief theme is thundering damnation into the ears of their eagerly listening flock. That there may be many truly pious and worthy characters among the sect of methodists, (than whom no others have embarked on this converting South Sea voyage) I am willing to believe, but much fear it will be found that there are too many wordly and mercenary fanatics. What the exact creed of the O’tahytean is, it is not in my power to explain, yet is it charitable to believe it a good one if faith and good works travel in amity with each other; in the latter these Islanders are “eminent beyond compare”. They encourage a lesson of morality and good will among one another that puts civilized religion to the blush. Let us then - still I may be in error - in the name of Providence have done with missions of the kind, take a retrospect of their sanguinary exterminating consequences in many a large portion of the world, and humanity will tremble. The O’tahytean needs no conversion, he divides what he has with the stranger, as with his neighbour. He administers to, he anticipates their wants. Can he be taught more, and still retain these amiable and generous qualities?


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“Where all partake the earth without dispute,
and bread itself is gathered as a fruit;
Where none contest the fields, the woods, the streams;
The goldless age, where gold disturbs no dreams,
Inhabits or inhabited the shore,
Till Europe taught them better than before,
Bestowed her customs, and amended theirs,
But left her vices also to their heirs.
Away with this! Behold them as they were,
Do good with Nature, or with Nature err.
From Lord Byrons “Island”, 1823.


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July
O’tahytey
Doubtless some of their customs ought to be abolished, and let us hope that, at no very distant period, they will whether by the aid of Missionaries or not. I will drop the subject with a belief that you will acquit me of any intention of being loose or licentious in the preceding observations. God knows it is the farthest from my heart. So often have I “traced a Providence at sea, and saw his wonders on the mighty deep that it is impossible for one to doubt an Atheist Sailor were a monstrous thing, more wonderful than all old Ocean breeds.” I am only hazarding an opinion - crude enough no doubt - on the plan of converting my old friends at O’tahytey. Have we not a great deal to do “at home”?
Of their penal laws I am hardly able to speak. What in many countries would be deemed crimes, here meet no penalty. I rather believe that the life of an individual cannot be affected, let the guilt be what it may. In the sudden impulse of passion and resentment, I have seen a Chief inflict a blow on an inferior without resistance, but was never witness to anything like systematic corporal punishment. It has already been observed that the most worthless in society are selected for oblations to the deity on different occasions, yet even here, the devoted object is kept ignorant of the blow that awaits him. Although in the preceding pages, several instances of theft are mentioned, I am disposed to believe, and this opinion is confirmed by the report of the Chiefs, that it seldom occurs among themselves. We cannot be much surprised that the novelty of european articles should tempt them to err. The


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rigid moralist will not find it difficult to discover that in our visits to these unoffending people, with the advantages of education and refinement - if such they be - and the taught conviction of right and wrong; we ourselves have been sometimes caught tripping. The balance, I rather fear is against us.
Their diseases are not numerous, and they are happily ignorant of those ravaging ones, the smallpox and measles. Consumptions are not uncommon, for which, like ourselves, they seem aware that there is no remedy. But what they suffer most from are diseases of a scrofulous nature. Many instances fell under my observation where it had made dreadful inroads on the human frame, the poor sufferers only looking to death for a termination of their misery. They attribute most of their complaints to the visits of Europeans, and that some of them were imported by us, perhaps it would be difficult to disprove.
The venereal disease, that cursed scourge on mankind, has here spread its baneful influence to a melancholy degree, by whatever channel it might have been introduced. On this question much sedulous disquisition has been exercised, yet seemingly with naught conclusive. Nearly two centuries have elapsed since the discovery of the Island of Quiros, but the natives date the origin of this cruel disorder at a more recent period, the visits of Captain Wallis and Monsieur Bouganville, the former in 1767, the latter in the following year. Save, to the idly curious, it is of little import which of the two left this sad token among them; instead of disputing how the disease reached the Island, humanity cries aloud that to heal their sufferings ought to be the consideration. We owe them every


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friendly and humane exertion, nor can it be doubted but that professional men might be found whose hearts would dilate in embarking on so laudable a purpose. This indeed were a mission the God of all, the protection of the Christian, as well as of the dark untutored savage, would approve. Here, although not ignorant of simples that yield relief in their milder complaints, here their wretched obscurity calls feelingly for succour.
Our worthy messmate Ned Harwood, with his ceaseless philanthropy, acted the part of the “good Samaritan” to these poor Islanders. But his healing relief was or short continuance.
A few instances of men suffering from insanity (Nenevah) were observed, but in no case so as to render coercion necessary.
I was led to enquire whether suicide was ever known among them, and was informed it never happened but from insanity, the instances being very rare. The gloomy, ceaseless, overwhelming discontent and despair, so often the inmates of more reflecting and civilized breasts, and which covets dissolution for relief, is here never seen. Of the motives indeed, to this desperate act among Europeans, they are happily strangers. The European perhaps has not more sensibility than the native of O’tahytey, but there are reflections inseparable from the indulgence of such sensibility, the latter has never been taught to feel. If we could examine into the history of such among ourselves who have embraced self murder as a termination to their woes, it would be found too often to have proceeded from the corroding conviction of guilt - doubtless more frequently than from any other impulse.


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July
O’tahytey
Many indeed carry their history with them unknown but to a superior power, from a silent feeling to others left here, to buffet it a little longer. The Otahytean is a child of nature, nor plagued nor perplexed with too much thought. Her impulses he unreservedly follows, feeling - not reasoning about it - that, she is the true guide, and that passions and affections were given him as a road to happiness, nor to be chilled by the sapient decrees of profound legislators, who aim - yet impotently - by human institution to subdue their all powerful voice.
The few preceding remarks bear not at all upon the turpitude of self murder. They are only hazarded as an opinion why it is more frequent among ourselves than with these people, thereby deducing that their system of life is wiser than our own - without it argues wisdom to seek another world when this becomes burthensome. But few are bold enough to try an experiment - and which “cannot be tried a second time” - so full of doubt and obscurity.
It would not appear that they are remarkable for longevity. One of the oldest of our visitors was Otow, grandfather of Otoo, the Eree da hy, yet he did not seem above seventy, but as their method of keeping time, which is by moons, made any enquiries, except on recent circumstances, rather perplexing, I only speak of the age of Otow from conjecture.
Our people were allowed to go on shore in rotation, but there was no instance of desertion, yet perhaps this was more owing to a conviction that the Chiefs would deliver them up, than from want of inclination. It has been already observed that some of the Matildas crew remained on the Island
[In the margin]
Yet Forster says, (in 1773) “E Happai (which was Otows name at that period) was a tall thin man with a grey beard and hair, seemed to be of a great age but not entirely worn out. Otoo son of E Happai seemed about four or five and twenty.”


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Note. Yet, when the Duff touched at Huhahayney in 1797, a man by the name of Connor, one of the Matildas crew, declined embarking on board her. Connor had been among the Society Isles five years, but he supposed it had been eight. He could neither read or write, and had nearly forgotten his native language. He first expressed a desire to be taken on board but his affection for a child borne him by a woman of the Island, superseded the desire, and he remained in this distant quarter of the globe. (G.T. 1802)


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1792
July
O’tahytey
by choice, and here I cannot help noticing, on the authority of Captain Bligh that Captain Clerke of the Discovery when last at O’tahytey in 17 with Captain Cook, had formed the intention of remaining there, and that on the day of their departure he went on board the Resolution to intimate such a wish to his commanding officer, who having been apprised of the circumstance avoided a meeting, instantly proceeding with the two vessels to sea. Captain Clerke had been an invalid from the beginning of this arduous voyage, and had encouraged a flattering hope that the genial climate of the Island would have again restored him to health. You are aware that he died on the coast of Kamtchatka about two years afterwards not having reached the meridian of life.
Such Europeans as have voluntarily been left on any of the South Sea Islands, however partial to the manners of the inhabitants, have generally availed themselves of opportunities to return. The natives, I have no doubt, would act the same after remaining any considerable time in Europe, so powerfully do our affections cling to the soil where we first drew breath. Much is it to be lamented that of the South sea islanders who visited Europe and other countries, only one returned. The death of poor Mideedee who came home on the Providence, has been mentioned. Baubo who we left at Jamaica not long after met the same fate. Tobaiah and his boy Tayota fell sacrifices to the pestilential climate of Batavia in the Endeavour. Aotourow who embarked with Mr. Bouganville, in 17 , after passing some time in France, sailed on his return, but only reached the Isle of France or Bourbon, where he died. Oedidee, it is true,
[In the margin]
The death of three O’tahyteans is noted in the Gent Mag (1803), “Mydowe, about seventeen, or eighteen at the Moravian School near Leeds, Oly, about nineteen or twenty, at the same place, and Mideedee another youth, who died some time before (but in what part of England is not mentioned) of a spitting of blood. These three victims to a less genial climate than their own left O’tahytey about the year 1799 in a Southern Whaler and her prize.” In reading the


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1792
July
O’tahytey
from visiting the Friendly Isles, New Zealand, and other places returned safe after being absent about a twelve month to Orieterah. Omai, it would appear, is the only one who after passing some time in Europe returned to his own country.
However confident in our kindness and unsuspicious of nelgect having been exercised towards such of their countrymen as at different periods embarked with us, it cannot but appear extraordinary to the natives that death or other circumstances should so continually have prevented their coming back. Mideedee and Baubo were in the highest state of health when they took the last farewell of their native friends and relations.
Many accounts were current respecting Omai but they all accorded in his having died a natural death at Orieteeah his native Isle. M , a Chief of that island, stated that the fire arms of Omai, of which he had a couple, gave him much importance and that on the locks getting out of order, by continual use, it was his custom to present the musket, while a Towtow, with a lighted stick, set fire to the priming. This poor fellow while in England certainly passed the time much to his gratification, but by no means so as to acquire any information likely to be of benefit to his country. Had Mideedee lived, there is no doubt but Captain Bligh would have had him instructed in some useful kind of handicraft, if indolence which is inseparable from these people, had not proved an obstacle.
Among the several thousand who visited the shipping and the Post, I observed only one person labouring under natural deformity, from which it is fair to infer that such cases are rare on the Island.
[In the margin]
account of these poor fellows, it was not without reflecting on the namesake of one of them, our old Shipmate Mideedee, who removed from all but a few English friends, paid the same debt but a few years before. Our Mideedee had been absent from O’tahytey about seven years when the late one left the Island. It would be satisfactory to


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1792
July
O’tahytey
know whether an account of our friends death had reached the Island at this time. If it had, his namesake had certainly a claim to resolution and enterprise in quitting his native Isle on a voyage at least of obscurity. Mideedee signifies a Child. Much is it to be wished that Europeans would leave these Mideedees to their own teeming soil and cheerful habits. I may be wrong, but the more I see and hear, the more I reflect, the stronger an opinion is fixed in my mind, that the aim of civilized nations to ameliorate the condition of those in what is called a savage state, is but in general, a fruitless one. Twelve years are not passed since I was among the O’tahyteans, but I fear that were I now to visit them, I should not find them in an improved state. The public prints notice that great numbers of our countrymen from New South Wales have by various means found their way to O’tahytey, that they have built several vessels and are employed on many more of considerable burthen. From the contiguity of O’tahytey to this Land of Convicts, its fine climate, productive soil, and pleasurable habits, we cannot but suppose that emigration from Port Jackson will increase, nor is it a very remote calculation to imagine that this very fine Island may become a European settlement, and the hand of power by degrees reduce the right owners to an abject state of servitude. We are already told of the Chiefs having bestowed the productive district of Matavai to the Missionaries, a class of men who purposely embarked on what is generally considered a humane errand, and who cannot be supposed to cherish worldly considerations while converting the heathen. What may we not then expect from those of more dissolute and licentious manners? The Island is capable of producing every thing that is cultured in our West India Colonies. It has good harbours, fine rivers, abundance of wood, and holds out but too great a temptation to the insatiable speculator on gain. (G.T. 1804)


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1792
July
O’tahytey
The mean of 9 sets of observations of the [indecipherable] (G.T.) gave the Longitude of Matavai Bay 210 35 5° East or 149 24 55° West. Viz
May 15th, 1st set - 210 39 15°
May 29th, 2nd - 210 31 45°
June 14th, 3rd –209 57 30°
June 15th,4th - 210 26 45°
June 15th, 5th - 210 28 30°
June 16th, 6th - 219 41 15°
June 26th, 7th - 210 53 45°
June 27th, 8th - 210 20°
June 29th, 9th - 211 17°
9 - 1895 15 45°
Mean Long. Matavai Bay - 210 35 05° E
Capt Cook in 1769, on observing the Transit of Venus - 210 27 30°
Capt Bligh in the Bounty 1789, the result of 50 sets of observations - 210 33 57°
The 9 sets above, vary in a considerable degree, the 3rd and the last so much as 79 miles which strongly points out the necessity of taking a number of observations on such occasions.
The variation of the compass on board in Matavai Bay [indecipherable] mean of 30 sets of Azimuths with 3 different compasses, chiefly by Capt. Bligh 1792 - 4 58° E
Do. by 9 sets on Point Venus - 5 47° E
2 - 10 45°
Minor Variation - 5 22 30° E.
[In the margin]
The Tide in Matavai Bay was very inconsiderable, not (I think) rising above a foot and [indecipherable] somewhat remarkable - it was high water about the middle of the day. It is in my recollection that the Captain used to send a [part of page missing]


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1792
July
Moreea, or Eimeo
Chapter 8th
Pass Moreea or Eimeo. Another O’tahytean on board besides Mideedee, his name Baubo. Very good look out kept. Island Whytootackay. Intercourse with the Natives. Language somewhat similar to the O’tahytean. No harbour appeared. Women dance the Heeva. Some acocunt of the Bounty’s mutineers. Want of Journal. Make the Mayorga Islands. Bligh’s Islands. Intercourse with the natives. Christened the Islands alphabetically. Canoes. Sir Joseph Banks. A mutiny nearly taking place in the Endeavour, 17 . Paradise Island. White, and ocean water, the terms at the Bahamas. Alphabet expended, begin naming the Islands numerically. Proceed westward. New Hebrides. South coast of New Guinea. Noddies, Boobies, etc, etc. Zeal of Lieut. Wm. Portlock. Armour for the boats crews. See the Reefs Eastward of Torres Straits. Enter the Straits. Boats employed. Affair in the cutter with the Natives. Canoes. Various Islands. Anchor frequently. Eight canoes approach the Vessels, and consequence. Two men wounded in the Assistant, one mortally. Arrows etc, etc. Proceed westward. Look out Island. Dangerous anchorage. Enter the Indian Ocean, etc., etc.
Thetis, Coast of Virginia, Ap. 1797.
19th. Leaving Otahytey a course was shaped to the Westward, passing Moreea (or Eimeo) at a few leagues distance. It appeared to be surrounded with reefs. The valleys exhibited plenty, being well supplied with bread fruit, cocoa nut, and other useful trees, the mountains rising above them in the most picturesque forms; one in particular on the North West part of the Island


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1792
July
Moreea, or Eimeo
bearing a close resemblance to the steeple of a church.
It was now found that there was another O’tahytean on board besides Mideedee. Baubo had, in a manner, concealed himself in the ship, yet perhaps not without the knowledge of some of his English friends. He had ever attached himself to the botanists Messieurs Wiles and Smith, to the latter in an affectionate degree, and was determined to follow his fortunes across the ocean, nor could this poor fellow have fixed his faith on a more worthy man. But Baubo never reached England. On the arrival of the Providence at Jamaica it was decided that Mr. Wiles should remain there to superintend the plants, and Baubo knowing that his presence could not but be of service to “the cause” joined him, with every hope ere long to make the last stage after the plants were permanently established, yet with great regret at the separation from his friend Mr. Smith. At Jamaica by his great good humour he had become a favorite with all the neighbourhood. He had been inoculated with Mideedee at St. Vincents for the smallpox and with every favorable effect. What his disorder was afterwards at Jamaica I did not learn, but some time after our return to England his death was announced in the newspapers.
The most difficult part of the voyage was now opening, and until we reached the Indian Ocean by Torres Straits, each night was passed in an anxious “look out”.
24th. The Latitude at noon was South. Longitude by
Before sun set the Island Whytootackay was seen about six leagues distant.
25th. Early in the morning bore up for the southern


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1792
July
Whytootackay
part under easy sail, from which, at the distance of four or five miles, are some Keys with trees on them, connected by a reef appearing to encircle the Island. Many natives were on the beach and in canoes about the reef. On hauling our wind off the western part, three canoes containing in all about a dozen men, after our making signs of friendship, came along side. Nails and every implement made of iron were enquired for with the greatest avidity, in return for which they bartered the only ornament about their persons, a pearl oyster shell hung to their breast by a collar of plaited human hair, in the manner of a gorget. They also disposed of some spears about twelve feet in length, the sharp point being of a very dark hard wood, and jagged like a turtle peg. Whether these spears are used as weapons of war, or to procure fish, we could not determine. One man had a club formed of the Toa tree of O’tahytey. They were muscular and well formed and in colour the same as the O’tahyteans. (But I believe nothing has been yet said on this subject.) I must therefore go back again and observe that it is a clear olive, yet varying much in shade, more so perhaps than is to be observed in England between the darkest and the fairest skins, but of whatever tint, there is a transparency, if the expression maybe used, different from what is to be seen among the people of colour in our own colonies, nor did we always look in vain for the blood “mantling” in the cheeks - certainly not gifted with the lily or the rose - of some of these island beauties. The male part of the Royal family were darker than most of the natives (young Otoo indeed was an exception, being more of the colour of his mother) with coarse black hair, in some flowing loosely of great length down


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1792
July
Whytootackay
the back, others having it cropped quite short. Tatowing is practiced by them, but the breech, so common in the Island we had left, was free from these stains. One among our visitors had every part of his body marked with scars from one to three inches long, which did not appear to be accidental. Some had their faces daubed over, not a little proud of it, with a kind of red pigment. Their beards were not wholly eradicated, but cropped short. With the comfort of cleanliness they seemed unacquainted, being by no means free from vermin. One man wore the exact dress of the Ratteera or gentleman of O’tahytey, that of the others was simply a piece of the Island cloth passed round the loins and brought up between the thighs.
Their language bore some affinity to that of O’tahytey, yet neither Mideedee or Baubo allowed it to be the same. On the canoes first approaching, we called to them arromaye (come here, or bring) which they perfectly understood.
As the vessels drifted to the westward the natives were anxious to get away and while we were in the act of weaving put off in the canoes, leaving two of their countrymen on board, nor could all our waving and calling bring the canoes back again. This brought us to the necessity of making the two take the water, in the hope the canoes would pick them up, but no attention was paid to them, and one became so very exhausted that had not Mr. Portlock in the Assistant taken him on board, he most likely would soon have been drowned. The Brig then stood in shore and stopped the canoes.
The conduct of these Islanders on this occasion gave us but an unfavorable opinion of their humanity; nor could our kind and gentle O’tahyteans help


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Whytootackay
expressing their indignation in the most feeling manner against those in the canoes for deserting their countrymen.
The Island appeared destitute of harbours, and from the very light colour of the water within the reef, it could not be many feet deep. The dark blue line of “ocean water” as it is termed by the Bahama pilots, formed a striking contrast, and particularly on being viewed from the mast head, where we sometimes went (not indeed as is now the case, when the hands are turned up to make sail, to reconnoitre the chase) to get a more enlarged range for the eye. It was my first trip aloft on these occasions after quitting O’tahytey, and as well as a commanding view of Whytootackay, our floating garden was particularly attractive. I might add that besides the bread fruit and other plants to be seen on the quarter deck, and in part of the cabin, a great deal of the rigging was crowded with plantains, cocoa nuts, and other fruits and vegetables, which had been taken on board for ourselves and stock. Some consumption, it is true, had eased the shrouds and stays, but still a “bird’s eye” view gave the Proividence nearly in a garb of greens attended by her Assistant in the same gay livery.
Whytootackay is three or four leagues in circuit, of a fertile appearance, and abundantly supplied with cocoa nut trees, amid which were the huts of the inhabitants, who, in proportion to the extent of the Isle, were numerous. It was remarked that numbers of the cocoa nut trees had lost their foliage, and some broken off nearly half way down the trunk, probably from high winds. (64.)
As we sailed past the Island it was easy with our glasses to see the women dancing the Heeva on the beach in its full latitude, the signs made by them for a closer intercourse with the ships being by no means repulsive but inviting.


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1792
July
Whytootackay
Their canoes were formed with much neatness and so very narrow that without the outrigger it would be impossible to prevent their overturning. The sail was a piece of cloth about the size of an handkerchief fastened by the corners to two spears held upright by one of the crew. Some canoes within the reef contained ten or twelve persons. (68.)
At O’tahytey we had learnt that many of the mutineers of the Bounty had been secured by Captaion Edwards of the Pandora about a year before our arrival, yet as the fate of the others was still unknown, particular enquiries were made at this Island but could only learn that some vessel had been there not long before us. This doubtless was the Pandora, Captain Edwards having examined Whytootackay without success in his voyage homewards.
Captain Bligh ever entertained an idea that the mutineers would visit this Island.
Where these wretched men may be, if in existence, we have yet to learn. The O’tahyteans stated that Christian (Titieane) returned there with a plausible tale of some accident having happened to Captain Bligh and such of the officers and crew who were not in the ship. Here the Bounty remained but a short time, and then sailed for Tobouai an Island above an hundred leagues to the southward. On her arrival at Tobouai little stock of any kind was found there, which induced Christian to again seek O’tahytey and lade the ship with such articles as would be useful in his intended settlement. Still no suspicion was entertained by the natives of the mutiny, and after taking on board a quantity of hogs, fowls, and goats, he again departed and arrived safely at Tobouai, accompanied by several natives, but the inhabitants were by no means desirous for his remaining, opposing it by every means in their power. Several encounters took place, Christian having entrenched his party in the hope of forcing a settlement,


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1792
July
but after remaining about three months and discussions arising among themselves, the plan was relinquished, and the Bounty returned a third and last time to O’tahytey. The Armourer, Joseph Colman, who Captain Bligh in his distressing narrative states as being “kept contrary to his inclination”, I have since conversed with, when he assured me that Christian was so intent on fixing his party at Tobouai as to have begun a drawbridge, the hinges being actually completed.
The ship was no sooner anchored than most of the mutineers went on shore, where they were again received by the chiefs with cordiality and good will, but a suspicion soon arose in the minds of the natives that foul play had been used to Captain Bligh, possibly insinuations to that effect were made by some of the crew. This so much raised the indignation of Orepaia and other Chiefs that they determined to attempt getting possession of the ship, and in which they said many of the mutineers offered to co-operate. Christian by some means received an intimation of their intentions, and aware of the danger of delay, waited only until night when he cut the ships cable and stood to sea. There were with him seven or eight of the crew, about an equal number of O’tahytean women, two men, and a child or two. The ship was plentifully supplied with all kinds of provisions and stores.
The remainder continued at O’tahytey until Captain Edwards, who in the Pandora was sent in search of the mutineers, arrived there in March 1791. Two of them indeed were killed previously, Churchill the Master at arms, and Thompson. It appears that one having shot the other in a quarrel, the native friends of the deceased instantly revenged themselves on the murderer. At the Morai in Oparrey there was a skull, which the natives reported to be Thompsons, preserved with


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1792
July
Whytootackay
much care.
After reading the preceeding account, (which was collected from the natives) you will no doubt encourage various conjectures respecting the fate of Christian and his followes, so have I, but to be still in darkness. It seems that Captain Edwards, in May 1791, discovered a yard and some spars at this Palmestons Isles in Lat South, long marked “Bounty”, yet this is not even a proof of that ships having been in the neigbourhood. It has been mentioned that some articles from the wreck of the Matilda Whaler were found at O’tahytey, a distance of three hundred leagues from where she was lost, only four months before, and the Bountys spars most likely had drifted to the Palmerstons Isles from her wreck, whether purposely destroyed by Christian or accident. His persevering efforts to form a settlement atTobouai naturally leads us to believe a similar attempt was made elsewhere, which if accomplished, was the more free from discovery by the destruction of the ship. But to return to a voyage more auspicious than that of the Bounty, which my pen shall drop, at all events, for the present, however much I may think of it. Yet may it as well be remarked that the Pandora was wrecked about four months after quitting O’tahytey on a reef in Latitude 11°..22 South, Longitude 143°..38 East, near the entrance of Torres Straits, when four of the mutineers ( and thirty five of the crew) were drowned.
It has been observed that owing to our journals being in “requisition” I had but some loose scraps remaining to lead me along. This already appears in the Providence reaching Whytootackay without
any of the Society Islands having been noticed. It is true that they were passed at so great a distance , we had no communication with there inhabitants

 


   
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