BENDY-TREE to BENJAMIN
BENDY-TREE, s. This, according to Sir G. Birdwood, is the Thespesia populnea, Lam. [Watt, Econ.
Dict. vi. pt. iv. 45 seqq.], and gives a name to the Bendy Bazar in Bombay. (See PORTIA.)
BENGAL, n.p. The region of the Ganges Delta and the districts immediately above it; but often in English
use with a wide application to the whole territory garrisoned by the Bengal army. This name does not
appear, so far as we have been able to learn, in any Mahommedan or Western writing before the latter
part of the 13th century. In the earlier part of that century the Mahommedan writers generally call the
province Lakhnaoti, after the chief city, but we have also the old form Bang, from the indigenous Vanga.
Already, however, in the 11th century we have it as Vangalam on the Inscription of the great Tanjore
Pagoda. This is the oldest occurrence that we can cite.
The alleged City of Bengala of the Portuguese
which has greatly perplexed geographers, probably originated with the Arab custom of giving an important
foreign city or seaport the name of the country in which it lay (compare the city of Solmandala, under
COROMANDEL). It long kept a place in maps. The last occurrence that we know of is in a chart of
1743, in Dalrymples Collection, which identifies it with Chittagong, and it may be considered certain
that Chittagong was the place intended by the older writers (see Varthema and Ovington). The former,
as regards his visiting Banghella, deals in fictiona thing clear from internal evidence, and expressly
alleged, by the judicious Garcia de Orta: As to what you say of Ludovico Vartomano, I have spoken,
both here and in Portugal, with men who knew him here in India, and they told me that he went about
here in the garb of a Moor, and then reverted to us, doing penance for his sins; and that the man never
went further than Calecut and Cochin.Colloquios, f. 30.
c. 1250.Muhammad Bakhtiyar
returned to Behar. Great fear of him prevailed in the minds of the infidels
of the territories of Lakhnauti, Behar, Bang, and Kamrup.Tabakat-Nasiri, in Elliot, ii. 307.
is a Province towards the south, which up to the year 1290
had not yet been conquered.
Polo, Bk. ii. ch. 55.
then to Bijalar (but better reading Bangala), which from of old is
subject to Delhi.
Rashiduddin, in Elliot, i. 72.
we were at sea 43 days and then arrived in
the country of Banjala, which is a v
ast region abounding in rice. I have seen no country in the world
where provisions are cheaper than in this; but it is muggy, and those who come from Khorasan call it a hell full of good things. Ibn Batuta, iv. 211. (But the Emperor Aurungzebe is alleged to have emphatically
styled it the Paradise of Nations.Note in Stavorinus, i. 291.)
Shukr shikan shawand hama tutian-i-Hind
Zin kand-i-Parsi kih ba Bangala mi rawad.
Sugar nibbling are all the parrots of Ind
From this Persian candy that travels to Bengal
(viz. his own poems).
1498.Bemgala: in this Kingdom are many Moors, and few Christians, and the King is a Moor
land are many cotton cloths, and silk cloths, and much silver; it is 40 days with a fair wind from Calicut.Roteiro
de V. da Gama, 2nd ed. p. 110.
1506.A Banzelo, el suo Re è Moro, e li se fa el forzo de
panni de gotton
Leonardo do Ca Masser, 28.
1510.We took the route towards the city of Banghella
of the best that I had hitherto seen.Varthema, 210.
the Kingdom of Bengala, in which there
are many towns.
Those of the interior are inhabited by Gentiles subject to the King of Bengala, who is
a Moor; and the seaports are inhabited by Moors and Gentiles, amongst whom there is much trade and
much shipping to many parts, because this sea is a gulf
and at its inner extremity there is a very great
city inhabited by Moors, which is called Bengala, with a very good harbour.Barbosa, 178-9.
originally was called Bung; it derived the additional al from that being the name given to
the mounds of earth which the ancient Rajahs caused to be raised in the low lands, at the foot of the
hills.Ayeen Akbery, tr. Gladwin, ii. 4 (ed. 1800); [tr. Jarrett, ii. 120].
is bounded on
the North-West by the Kingdom of Bengala, some Authors making Chatigam to be its first Frontier
City; but Teixeira, and generally the Portuguese Writers, reckon that as a City of Bengala; and not