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rent couplets about wealth, women, poverty and fate, and an ability to write out a note of hand for twenty rupees, or a petition or letter to a man of some rank and station. Yet we venture to think that on these rude and elementary institutions, on these teachers without knowledge, on these schools without books, taken as they stand, must be based originally any attempt to create a vernacular literature, or to establish a Normal School, and to give a better and wider education to the children of the masses. And no system which does not avow and act on this principlethat of building on the foundation of the natives, elevating their tone, supplying their wants, directing their studies, and amending their deficiencies—can ever end in any thing but decrepitude and failure.
The word physician is a very delusive explanation of the Bengali word kabiraj. This functionary is a mere ignorant pretender to medical knowledge, who with a few charms and simples, and without the slightest rudiments of science, practises or experiments on the corpus vile of a villager, as prejudiced and ignorant as himself. It is almost an insult to the members of the medical profession anywhere, but especially to the Indian medical profession to which Mr. Wilson belonged, that the term physician should be set down in the glossary as representing a class that have not even the cleverness and the occasional dexterity of quacks.
The word kshetra is correctly described as “a field, and a place of pilgrimage.” By the natives of Bengal, with the honorific pretix of sri, it is invariably applied to designate Jagannath, a pilgrimage to which is often the one great event in the life of an unwieldy Baboo. We are surprised that this peculiarity should have escaped the notice of the compiler, who must have heard the term so applied some hundreds of times in the course of his Indian experience.
We are glad to find the derivation of the common word cooly, or kuli, which in common with Shakspeare and other Orientalists, we had hitherto conceived to have been Turkish, and to have come into the Hindustani language, with sundry military expressions, in company with the swarm of Patan and Usbek horsemen that helped to fuse the languages of the Court of the conquerors, and of the conquered, into the copious and not inelegant Urdu language. The word comes from the south, and not from the north of India. It is Tamil originally, but has spread into other languages, and is used both by natives and Europeans, though many of our readers must know that on this side of India, the word mutiya, from mot a burden, is in more familiar and general use than the word cooly.
Mahamari is given as meaning a plague, or any great epi
demic, in Bengali or Sanskrit. Surely Mr. Wilson cannot have so far forgotten his medical knowledge, as not to remember, that the mahamurree, as it is corruptly termed, is a mysterious disease that appears in the Rohilcund Terai in particular years, or seasons of the year, confines itself to that one locality, decimates whole villages, and has, we believe, like cholera, hitherto defied the skill of the entire faculty. Of all omissions, this omission of a portentous visitation, which has been written and reported on by doctors and civilians, has caused us the greatest astonishment.
That the word muflis, which originally means a pauper or bankrupt, should not have been given in its secondary meaning, is also remarkable. It is employed by natives to express a "bachelor,' an unmarried man, under the idea feelingly conveyed by the tax-collector in Nicholas Nickleby, that a bachelor must be a poor and miserable individual.
Nor is it less surprising that, after the Seikh wars, and the settlement of the Punjab, Mr. Wilson should have omitted to mention that the word manjha, or land lying between the outfield and the infield of a village, is par excellence applied to the tract of country lying in the very centre of the Bari Doab, whence Runjeet Sing drew the best and bravest of his forces, and where we have found a warlike and manly population, once the foemen most worthy of our bayonets, and now happily amongst the really “staunch” and “faithful” of our friends.
The word pukkha or pakka, or pucka, strikes us as well and tersely defined. It is "ripe and mature, or cooked :" complete as a statement:""solid as a building,” or, Mr. Wilson might have said, as a bridge, or road : “intellectually mature, intelligent, knowing :” “ the contrast in all respects of kachcha," or kutcha. This is very pukka, which is perhaps the best praise that can be given to such a definition. The words pucka and kutcha, which latter is also explained with lucidity and precision, are in fact, the main opposing powers of good and evil in our system of actual Government. Settlements that will not stand the trial of years ; investigations that leave the whole ground to be gone over again ; decisions like those of Mr.
(the reader may supply the blank by one of some of the public functionaries with whom he is acquainted) : roads laid down, edifices repaired or erected by the late Military Board, whether apparently solid or not: abortive attempts at legislation : laws which do not touch the real evil, or which being passed, never get beyond the statute book; measures of social or internal reform which are beyond or behind the requirements of the age :-all these are essentially kutcha ; they tantalise the philanthropist and the reformer, by a vague show of amelioration, they are propounded with pomp
and pretentiousness, and they end in vapour and smoke. For the exemplification of the word pukka in public matters, we have, fortunately, not to go very far. The measures which resulted in the crushing of the mutiny within the Five Rivers, were unquestionably pukka. So, we doubt not, will be those for the restoration of our power, the punishment of the guilty, the reward of our faithful allies and dependants, and the re-introduction of order, security, and peace. Pukka was the experience and the understanding of the late lamented Mr. John Colvin. So was a project of reform when it came forth from the vigorous hands of Lord Dalhousie. And so are a minute or a speech by Mr. Grant. Pukka and kucha statesmanship are, indeed, two things which time rarely fails to detect, just as it tries the durability of a public building or a bridge.
The panj-tan are five holy persons, well-known to all good Mahommedan Shids. They are, the prophet, his daughter, his son-in-law, and the two martyrs, Hassan and Hosain. Urdu couplet, easy of remembrance, links them together thus :
Nabi, o Ali, Fatima aur Hassan
Hosain, ibn-i Haidar ye hain panjtan. But we regret, as we shall have occasion to notice, that Mr. Wilson has vigorously excluded from his Glossary, couplets, saws, and proverbs, which exist in such abundance in all dialects, and from which a judicious discrimination might have selected the most apt.
In connection with the above phrase, we may notice the definition of the tazia, or model of the tomb of the two martyrs, above alluded to, as it exists at Karbela to this day. Mr. Wilson says, " it is usually made of a light frame-work of bambu slips
covered with paper, painted and ornamented with mica and glass, and artificial flowers, and illuminated within and without; it is sometimes of considerable size and elaborate execution, and according to the wealth and piety of the owner, may be constructed of more costly materials, as glass, ivory, sandalwood, or silver ; the common ones are usually thrown away, or destroyed at the end of the solemnization. The more valu
able ones are preserved.” We select this as a good illustration of the position which a glossary ought to hold, removed from the brevity of a mere dictionary on the one hand, or the copiousness of a work on manners and customs on the other. And this position, in the above and in other instances, has been hit with exactness. A glossary should have sufficient detail to attract and satisfy, and yet should avoid trenching on the province of the historian, the biographer, or the writer on social usages.
To return to one or two official terms, we must observe that taufir or towfeer, does not merely mean“ an augmentation of the ' revenue, either from extended cultivation, or the lapse or re
sumption of alienated assignments.” In Bengal the word denotes lands, not on the Toujih or rent-roll of perpetually settled estates, such as is kept up in any collectorate : lands which may, at any time, be re-settled and assessed at their proper rate. The word simply means excess, or increase, but, officially, it marks with a broad line of separation, the lands assessed in perpetuity, under Lord Cornwallis's policy, from lands which may have been excluded then, and identified, or cultivated, or resumed, and then settled at any subsequent period.
We are at a loss to imagine the authority under which Mr. Wilson set down khass khamar, amongst his addenda, as "private • land, or land uncultivated by the proprietor." Wherever we have met the term, it has borne the very opposite signification. Khass khamar is applied to land held like a home farm, by the proprietor, and not cultivated by ryots who pay rent, but usually by private servants, who store the produce in their master's barns : or it may designate indigo lands, sown and cultivated by the servant of the factory, and not through cultivators receiving advances for the same : or the word khamar alone may mean the portion of an estate, from which the owner collects - rent, without the intervention of any middleman, from the ryots; and in the North-West provinces the word kham which is very similar, is applied to the process of collection by government from a share in a village, the holder of which has defaulted : a most unpopular mode of collection, and one seldom resorted to, except in terrorem, or when the rest of the brotherhood or co-parceners refuse to be responsible for the share of the defauiter. The kham process is, however, invariably preferred to the actual sale of the share.
In the same way we should be glad to know the incorrect source from which the mongrel compound digri-jari was set down, as the written sentence or decree of a court." The first part of the compound is indeed the written sentence, or in plain English the decree, and all readers of Shore's notes will remember his description of the civil trial, terminating by the head native official shouting out " Diggory," which, to this day, is the way natives always pronounce the word. But the Persian word jari, lit : “ flowing” is a very different thing, and added to the digri, it means the execution of the sentence, that is, the sale of the land attached, the realisation of the amount of debt adjudged to the plaintiff, the investment or the giving actual possession of the real property won in the suit. All who have had anything to do with the Mofussil, know that this tangible and substantial process is a widely different thing from a mere copy of the court's decree, whether that decree be the production of an intelligent native clerk, and composed in elegant Persian, as it used to be in former days, or the boná fide handiwork of the presiding judge, written by himself in his native tongue. The decree, as far as the paper, the reasoning, and the calligraphy go, may be all very well, under the excellent system by which all public officers are now required to write their own orders. But the paper may be mere waste paper. The tug of war may come again when identification is to be made out, and possession is to be given. But we feel that to pursue this topic would lead us away into the haze and maze of protracted litigation, and we reserve for a future article the consideration of the measures which have as yet been passed for the better administration of justice, as well as of those in contemplation, by which rights successfully contested in court, might be more speedily and satisfactorily enforced out of court.
Toshakhana is scarcely sufficiently described as a “store-room, in which objects of curiosity are kept.” With native Governments, and with the British Government to this day, it means the place where the cimelia regni are kept from profane eyes. A native toshakhana with its store of uncut emeralds, brocade stuffs, gold tissue, chains set with precious stones, scarfs, shawls, and embroidered cloaks, is a remarkable sight, and so is the British toshakhana, after the annexation of a new kingdom.
We think, that most persons will be somewhat disappointed at finding so curt a notice of the three great deities, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, as Mr. Wilson has thought fit to give us. notice of their principal festivals and places of worship would not have been inappropriate, under each deity ; but Vishnu is separated from his avatars, and the various Hindu festivals in honour of Shiva are scattered up and down the glossary. Possibly, little was given for the very reason that there would be a temptation to say too much, and because a book on mythology and not a glossary ought to be consulted by those who require to be initiated into Hindu mysteries. If this be the case, we are ready to admit the difficulty of drawing the line and of knowing where to stop
The degradation of the term khalifa, the successor of the Prophet, to the menial servants, such as the cook and the tailor, has been very properly noticed : Mr. Wilson might have added to the nal-band or farrier also. In this instance, as well as in that of the sweeper, who is transferred into a prince, and the water-carrier who is made an inhabitant of Paradise, the late Mr. Henry Torrens had an ingenious theory that these nicknames were ironically given by the soldiery of the camp of the emperor,