COUNTRY-CAPTAIN, s. This is in Bengal the name of a peculiar dry kind of curry, often served as a breakfast dish. We can only conjecture that it was a favourite dish at the table of the skippers of ‘country ships,’ who were themselves called ‘country captains,’ as in our first quotation. In Madras the term is applied to a spatchcock dressed with onions and curry stuff, which is probably the original form. [Riddell says: “Country-captain.—Cut a fowl in pieces; shred an onion small and fry it brown in butter; sprinkle the fowl with fine salt and curry powder and fry it brown; then put it into a stewpan with a pint of soup; stew it slowly down to a half and serve it with rice” (Ind. Dom. Econ. 176).]

1792.—“But now, Sir, a Country Captain is not to be known from an ordinary man, or a Christian, by any certain mark whatever.”—Madras Courier, April 26.

c. 1825.—“The local name for their business was the ‘Country Trade,’ the ships were ‘Country Ships,’ and the masters of them ‘Country Captains.’ Some of my readers may recall a dish which was often placed before us when dining on board these vessels at Whampoa, viz. ‘Country Captain.’”—The Fankwae at Canton (1882), p. 33.

COURSE, s. The drive usually frequented by European gentlemen and ladies at an Indian station.

1853.—“It was curious to Oakfield to be back on the Ferozepore course, after a six months’ interval, which seemed like years. How much had happened in these six months!”—Oakfield, ii. 124.

COURTALLUM, n.p. The name of a town in Tinnevelly [used as an European sanatorium (Stuart, Man. of Tinnevelly, 96)]; written in vernacular Kuttalam. We do not know its etymology. [The Madras Gloss. gives Trikutachala, Skt., the ‘Three-peaked Mountain.’]

COVENANTED SERVANTS. This term is specially applied to the regular Civil Service of India, whose members used to enter into a formal covenant with the East India Company, and do now with the Secretary of State for India. Many other classes of servants now go out to India under a variety of contracts and covenants, but the term in question continues to be appropriated as before. [See CIVILIAN.]

1757.—“There being a great scarcity of covenanted servants in Calcutta, we have entertained Mr. Hewitt as a monthly writer…and beg to recommend him to be convenanted upon this Establishment.”—Letter in Long, 112.

COVID, s. Formerly in use as the name of a measure, varying much locally in value, in European settlements not only in India but in China, &c. The word is a corruption, probably an Indo-Portuguese form, of the Port. covado, a cubit or ell. [1612.—“A long covad within 1 inch of our English yard, wherewith they measure cloth, the short covad is for silks, and containeth just as the Portuguese covad.”—Danvers, Letters, i. 241.

[1616.—“Clothes of gould:…were worth 100 rupies a cobde.”—Sir T. Roe, Hak: Soc. i. 203.

[1617.—Cloth “here affoorded at a rupie and two in a cobdee vnder ours.”—Ibid. ii. 409.]

1672.—“Measures of Surat are only two; the Lesser and the Greater Coveld [probably misprint for Coveed], the former of 27 inches English, the latter of 36 inches English.”—Fryer, 206.

1720.—“Item. I leave 200 pagodas for a tomb to be erected in the burial place in form as follows. Four large pillars, each to be six covids high, and six covids distance one from the other; the top to be arched, and on each pillar a cherubim; and on the top of the arch the effigy of Justice.”—Testament of Charles Davers, Merchant, in Wheeler, ii. 338.

[1726.—“Cobidos.” See quotation under LOONGHEE.]

c. 1760.—According to Grose the covid at Surat was 1 yard English [the greater coveed of Fryer], at Madras ½ a yard; but he says also: “At Bengal the same as at Surat and Madras.”

1794.—“To be sold, on very reasonable terms, About 3000 covits of 2-inch Calicut Planks.”—Bombay Courier, July 19.

The measure has long been forgotten under this name in Bengal, though used under the native name hath. From Milburn (i. 334, 341, &c.) it seems to have survived on the West Coast in the early part of last century, and possibly may still linger.

[1612.—“½ corge of pintados of 4 hastas the piece.”—Danvers, Letters, i. 232.]

  By PanEris using Melati.

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