CHIRETTA, s. H. chiraita, Mahr. kiraita. A Himalayan herbaceous plant of the order Gentianaceae (Swertia Chirata, Ham.; Ophelia Chirata, Griesbach; Gentiana Chirayita, Roxb.; Agathetes chirayta, Don.), the dried twigs of which, infused, afford a pure bitter tonic and febrifuge. Its Skt. name kirata-tikta, ‘the bitter plant of the Kiratas,’ refers its discovery to that people, an extensively-diffused forest tribe, east and north-east of Bengal, the [Greek Text] Kirradai of the Periplus, and the people of the [Greek Text] Kirradia of Ptolemy. There is no indication of its having been known to G. de Orta.

[1773.—“Kol Meg in Bengal; Creat in Bombay.…It is excessively bitter, and given as a stomachic and vermifuge.”—Ives, 471.]

1820.—“They also give a bitter decoction of the neem (Melia azadirachta) and chereeta.”—Acc. of the Township of Luny, in Trans. Lit. Soc. of Bombay, ii. 232.

1874.—“Chiretta has long been held in esteem by the Hindus.…In England it began to attract some attention about 1829; and in 1839 was introduced into the Edinburgh Pharmacopœia. The plant was first described by Roxburgh in 1814.”—Hanbury and Flückiger, 392.

CHIT, CHITTY, s. A letter or note; also a certificate given to a servant, or the like; a pass. H. chitthi; Mahr. chitti. [Skt. chitra, ‘marked.’] The Indian Portuguese also use chito for escrito (Bluteau, Supplement). The Tamil people use shit for a ticket, or for a playing-card.

1673.—“I sent one of our Guides, with his Master’s Chitty, or Pass, to the Governnor, who received it kindly.”—Fryer, 126.

[1757.—“If Mr. Ives is not too busie to honour this chitt which nothing but the greatest uneasiness could draw from me.”—Ives, 134.]

1785.—“.…Those Ladies and Gentlemen who wish to be taught that polite Art (drawing) by Mr. Hone, may know his terms by sending a Chit.…”—In Seton- Karr, i. 114.

1786.—“You are to sell rice, &c., to every merchant from Muscat who brings you a chitty from Meer Kâzim.”—Tippoo’s Letters, 284.

1787.—“Mrs. Arend…will wait upon any Lady at her own house on the shortest notice, by addressing a chit to her in Chattawala Gully, opposite Mr. Motte’s old house, Tiretta’s bazar.”—Advt. in Seton-Karr, i. 226.

1794.—“The petty but constant and universal manufacture of chits which prevails here.”—Hugh Boyd, 147.

1829.—“He wanted a chithee or note, for this is the most note-writing country under heaven; the very Drum-major writes me a note to tell me about the mails.”—Mem. of Col. Mountain, 2nd ed., 80.

1839.—“A thorough Madras lady…receives a number of morning visitors, takes up a little worsted work; goes to tiffin with Mrs. C., unless Mrs. D. comes to tiffin with her, and writes some dozens of chits.…These incessant chits are an immense trouble and interruption, but the ladies seem to like them.”—Letters from Madras, 284.

CHITCHKY, s. A curried vegetable mixture, often served and eaten with meat curry. Properly Beng. chhechki.

1875.—“…Chhenchki, usually called tarkari in the Vardhamana District, a sort of hodge-podge consisting of potatoes, brinjals, and tender stalks.…”—Govinda Samanta, i. 59.

c. 1346.—“The first city of Bengal that we entered was Sudkawan, a great place situated on the shore of the great Sea.”—Ibn Batuta, iv. 212.

1552.—“In the mouths of the two arms of the Ganges enter two notable rivers, one on the east, and one on the west side, both bounding this kingdom (of Bengal); the one of these our people call the River of Chatigam, because it enters the Eastern estuary of the Ganges at a city of that name, which is the most famous and wealthy of that Kingdom, by reason of its Port, at which meets the traffic of all that Eastern region.”—De Barros, Dec. IV. liv. ix. cap. i.

[1586.—“Satagam.” See quotation under HING.]

1591.—“So also they inform me that Antonio de Sousa Goudinho has served me well in Bemgualla, and that he has made tributary to this state the Isle of Sundiva, and has taken the fortress of Chataguão by force of arms.”—King’s Letter, in Archivio Port. Orient., fasc. iii. 257.

1598.—“From this River Eastward 50 miles lyeth the towne of Chatigan, which is the chief towne of Bengala.”—Linschoten, ch. xvi.; [Hak. Soc. i. 94].1

c. 1610.—Pyrard de la Val has Chartican, i. 234; [Hak. Soc. i. 326].

1727.—“Chittagoung, or, as the Portuguese call it, Xatigam, about 50 Leagues below Dacca.”—A. Hamilton, ii. 24; ed. 1744, ii. 22.

17—.—“Chittigan” in Orme (reprint), ii. 14.

1786.—“The province of Chatigan (vulgarly Chittagong) is a noble field for a naturalist. It is so called, I believe, from the chatag,2 which is the most beautiful little bird I ever saw.”—Sir W. Jones, ii. 101.
Elsewhere (p. 81) he

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.