PRAAG, sometimes PIAGG, n.p. Properly Prayaga, ‘the place of sacrifice,’ the old Hindu name of Allaha bad, and especially of the river confluence, since remote ages a place of pilgrimage.

c. a.d. 638.—“Le royaume de Polo-ye-kia (Prayâga) a environ 5000 li de tour. La capitale, qui est située au confluent de deux fleuves, a environ 20 li de tour. … Dans la ville, il y a un temple des dieux qui est d’une richesse éblouissante, et où éclatent une multitude de miracles. … Si quel qu’un est capable de pousser le mépris de la vie jusqu’ à se donner la mort dans ce temple, il obtient le bonheur eternel et les joies infinies des dieux. … Depuis l’antiquité jusqu’ à nos jours, cette coutume insensée n’a pas cessé un instant.”—Hiouen- Thsang, in Pèl. Boudd. ii. 276-79.

c. 1020.—“… thence to the tree of Baragi, 12 (parasangs). This is at the confluence of the Jumna and Ganges.”—Al-Biruni, in Elliot, i. 55.

1529.—“The same day I swam across the river Ganges for my amusement. I counted my strokes, and found that I crossed over at 33 strokes. I then took breath and swam back to the other side. I had crossed by swimming every river that I had met with, except the Ganges. On reaching the place where the Ganges and Jumna unite, I rowed over in the boat to the Piâg side. …”—Baber, 406.

1585.—“… Frõ Agra I came to Prage, where the riuer Jemena entreth into the mightie riuer Ganges, and Iemena looseth his name.”—R. Fitch, in Hakl. ii. 386.

PRACRIT, s. A term applied to the older vernacular dialects of India, such as were derived from, or kindred to, Sanskrit. Dialects of this nature are used by ladies, and by inferior characters, in the Sanskrit dramas. These dialects, and the modern vernaculars springing from them, bear the same relation to Sanskrit that the “Romance” languages of Europe bear to Latin, an analogy which is found in many particulars to hold with most surprising exactness. The most completely preserved of old Prakrits is that which was used in Magadha, and which has come down in the Buddhist books of Ceylon under the name of Pali (q.v). The first European analysis of this language bears the title “Institutiones Linguae Pracriticae. Scripsit Christianus Lassen, Bonnae ad Rhenum, 1837.” The term itself is Skt. prakrita, ‘natural, unrefined, vulgar,’ &c.

1801.—“Sanscrita is the speech of the Celestials, framed in grammatical institutes, Pracrita is similar to it, but manifold as a provincial dialect, and otherwise.”—Sanskrit Treatise, quoted by Colebrooke, in As. Res. vii. 199.

PRAYA, s. This is in Hong-Kong the name given to what in most foreign settlements in China is called the Bund; i.e. the promenade or drive along the sea. It is Port. praia, ‘the shore.’ [1598.—“Another towne towards the North, called Villa de Praya (for Praya is as much as to say, as strand).”—Linschoten, Hak. Soc. ii. 278.]

PRESIDENCY (and PRESIDENT), s. The title ‘President,’ as applied to the Chief of a principal Factory, was in early popular use, though in the charters of the E.I.C. its first occurrence is in 1661 (see Letters Patent, below). In Sainsbury’s Calendar we find letters headed “to Capt. Jourdain, president of the English at Bantam” in 1614 (i. 297-8); but it is to be doubted whether this wording is in the original. A little later we find a “proposal by Mr. Middleton concerning the appointment of two especial factors, at Surat and Bantam, to have authority over all other factors; Jourdain named.” And later again he is styled “John Jourdain, Captain of the house” (at Bantam; see pp. 303, 325), and “Chief Merchant at Bantam” (p. 343).

1623.—“Speaking of the Dutch Commander, as well as of the English President, who often in this fashion came to take me for an airing, I should not omit to say that both of them in Surat live in great style, and like the grandees of the land. They go about with a great train, sometimes with people of their own mounted, but particularly with a great crowd of Indian servants on foot and armed, according to custom, with sword, target, bow and arrows.”—P. della Valle, ii. 517.

„ “Our boat going ashore, the President of the English Merchants, who usually resides in Surat, and is chief of all their business in the E. Indies, Persia, and other places dependent thereon, and who is called Sign. Thomas Rastel1 … came aboard in our said boat, with a minister of theirs (so they term those who do the priest’s office among them).”—Ibid. ii. 501-2; [Hak. Soc. i. 19].

1638.—“As soon as the Commanders heard that the

  By PanEris using Melati.

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