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Treasury of East India Knowledge.





"The Hand-Book of India;" "The Memorials of Afghanistan;” “Fifteen Months' Pilgrimage
through Persia, Turkey, Russia, and Germany;" "The Wellington Manual;" &c., &c.





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THIS is a compilation. It has been suggested by the compiler's daily experience of the almost universal ignorance of Oriental terms, phrases, expressions, places. Every fortnight brings a mail from India, and the intelligence which it imparts is fraught with words which perplex the multitude. The despatches from India-the conversation of Orientalists— the speeches in Parliament, turning upon Eastern affairs—the Oriental novels, travels, and statistical works likewise abound with terms "caviare to the general." The new arrival in India, ignorant of the language of the country, is puzzled, for some time, to comprehend his countrymen, whose conversation wears strange suits," and even he, who has been for years a sojourner in India is, to the last, unacquainted with the meaning of numerous words which occur in his daily newspaper, the Courts of Law, and the communications of his Mofussil or up-country correspondents.


The following pages impart a knowledge of all the terms in question as far as they have occurred to the communicant during an examination of two or three years, diligently pursued, and an appeal to his recollection of the phrases in common use in India and Persia.

The authorities from whom the "explanations" have been borrowed are numerous. They are mentioned below, as much from a sense of

the obligations of justice, as from a desire to protect the publisher from injunctions, or the protests of holders of copyrights. They are:

The compiler's own "Hand Book of British India" (whence are derived the description of domestics, and of one or two places in India); Williamson's "Vade Mecum;" Symonds's "Geography and History" (from which the Gazetteer portion has been chiefly borrowed); Colebrooke's "Hindoo Mythology;" Fraser's "Kuzzilbash;" Ward's "Hindoos ;" Bellew's "Memoirs of a Griffin ;" the "Dictionnaire Historique ;" Ballin's "Fruits of India ;" Colonel Sleeman's "Rambles of an Indian Official;" Heber's "Journal;" Mrs. Postan's "Western India;" the "Asiatic Journal;" the "Oriental Herald ;" Selkirk's "Ceylon ;" Forbes's "Eleven Years in Ceylon;" Galloway's "Law of India;" Miss Emma Roberts's "Scenes and Sketches in Hindostan ;" Luard's "Views in India;" the "Glossary of Revenue Terms;" the "Bengal and Agra Guide and Gazetteer;" the "Encyclopedia Britannica;" "Real Life in India," &c., &c.

In the orthography of the words, pains have been taken to convey Oriental sounds without resorting to accents or arbitrary pronunciations. The reader is only required to bear in mind, that the letter " A," wherever it may occur, is to be sounded as in the interjection "AH!"


The compiler will be happy to find that, in the preparation of a work which has consumed more time, and involved more labour, than its bulk would lead the reader to imagine, he has supplied a public want, and added a useful mite to the stock of Oriental Literature.



AARON AL RASCHID (commonly written Haroun al Raschid), the first caliph of the Abassides. His zeal for the Mahometan religion induced him to carry the Arab conquests into Spain and the Indies. He was a mild and humane prince, and a great patron of men of letters. ABAD, "built by." In the names of Indian towns the concluding syllable usually affords some clue to their past history; thus "abad" signifies "built by," as Ahmed-abad, a city built by Ahmed Shah; Aurung-abad, Hyder-abad, &c.

ABBAH, a warm woollen cloak of dust

colour, sometimes striped black or brown, and worn by the Arabs of the Persian and Arabian Gulfs. ABDAR (literally "keeper of the water"), the name given to the domestic who used to cool the wines, water, &c., with saltpetre, before enterprise afforded the residents of Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay the delightful luxury of American ice; and his services are still called into requisition when the non-timely arrival of the ice-ships throws back the citizens upon their old resources. The Abdar now manages the ice; but it is only in wealthy establishments that such a servant is retained, as the Khedmutgar and Sirdar bearer between them can manage well enough.

ABKARREE, taxes or duties on the manufacture and sale in India of spirituous liquors and intoxicating drugs.

ABWAB, items of taxation, cesses,

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imposts, taxes. This term was particularly used under the Mahratta government to distinguish the taxes imposed subsequently to the establishment of the assal, or original standard rent, in the nature of additions thereto. In many places they had been consolidated with the assal, and a new standard assumed as the basis of succeeding imposition. Many were levied on the Zemindars as the price of forbearance, on the part of native governments, from detailed investigations into their profits, or actual receipts from the lands, according to the hastabood.

ACBAR, otherwise called Mahomed Galladeen, one of the Mogul emperors, who reigned at Delhi in the latter part of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century. He was a wise and just sovereign, and so accessible to all his subjects, that it is recorded of him that he was accustomed to ring a bell, the rope of which was suspended in his chamber, to announce to his people that he was prepared to receive their petitions and complaints. His name is still revered in Hindostan.

ACHEEN is situated at the northwestern extremity of the island of Sumatra. This was formerly the principal trading port in that part of the world, and its sultaun was held in great respect throughout the East. It has since greatly declined, and is now a place of no consequence. ADAWLUT, justice, equity; a court of justice in India.

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