DURBAR, s. A Court or Levee. Pers. darbar. Also the Executive Government of a Native State (Carnegie). “In Kattywar, by a curious idiom, the chief himself is so addressed: ‘Yes, Durbar’; ‘no, Durbar,’ being common replies to him.”—(M.-Gen. Keatinge).

1609.—“On the left hand, thorow another gate you enter into an inner court where the King keepes his Darbar.”—Hawkins, in Purchas, i. 432.

1616.—“The tenth of Ianuary, I went to Court at foure in the euening to the Durbar, which is the place where the Mogoll sits out daily, to entertaine strangers, to receiue Petitions and Presents, to giue commands, to see and to be seene.”—Sir T. Roe, in Purchas, i. 541; [with some slight differences of reading, in Hak. Soc. i. 106].

1633.—“This place they call the Derba (or place of Councill) where Law and Justice was administered according to the Custome of the Countrey.”—W. Bruton, in Hakl. v. 51.

c. 1750.—“…il faut se rappeller ces tems d’humiliations où le Francois étoient forcés pour le bien de leur commerce, d’aller timidement porter leurs presens et leurs hommages à de petis chefs de Bourgades que nous n’admetons aujourd’hui à nos Dorbards que lorsque nos intérêts l’exigent.”—Letter of M. de Bussy, in Cambridge’s Account, p. xxix.

1793.—“At my durbar yesterday I had proof of the affection entertained by the natives for Sir William Jones. The Professors of the Hindu Law, who were in the habit of attendance upon him, burst into unrestrained tears when they spoke to me.”—Teignmouth, Mem. i. 289.

1809.—“It was the durbar of the native Gentoo Princes.”—Ld. Valentia, i. 362.

[1826.—“…a Durbar, or police-officer, should have men in waiting.…”—Pandurang Hari, ed. 1873, i. 126.]

1875.—“Sitting there in the centre of the durbar, we assisted at our first nautch.”—Sir M. E. Grant Duff, in Contemp. Rev., July.

[1881.—“Near the centre (at Amritsar) lies the sacred tank, from whose midst rises the Darbar Sahib, or great temple of the Sikh faith.”—Imperial Gazetteer, i. 186.]

DURGAH, s. P. dargah. Properly a royal court. But the habitual use of the word in India is for the shrine of a (Mahommedan) Saint, a place of religious resort and prayer.

1782.—“Adjoining is a durgaw or burial place, with a view of the river.”—Hodges, 102.

1807.—“The dhurgaw may invariably be seen to occupy those scites pre-eminent for comfort and beauty.”—Williamson, Oriental Field Sports, 24.

1828.—“…he was a relation of the…superior of the Durgah, and this is now a sufficient protection.”—The Kuzzilbash, ii. 273.

DURIAN, DORIAN, s. Malay duren, Molucca form duriyan, from duri, ‘a thorn or prickle, [and an, the common substantival ending; Mr. Skeat gives the standard Malay as duriyan or durian]; the great fruit of the tree (N. O. Bombaceae) called by botanists Durio zibethinus, D. C. The tree appears to be a native of the Malay Peninsula, and the nearest islands; from which it has been carried to Tenasserim on one side and to Mindanao on the other.

The earliest European mention of this fruit is that by Nicolo Conti. The passage is thus rendered by Winter Jones: “In this island (Sumatra) there also grows a green fruit which they call duriano, of the size of a cucumber. When opened five fruits are found within, resembling oblong oranges. The taste varies like that of cheese.” (In India in the XVth Cent., p. 9.) We give the original Latin of Poggio below, which must be more correctly rendered thus: “They have a green fruit which they call durian, as big as a water-melon. Inside there are five things like elongated oranges, and resembling thick butter, with a combination of flavours.” (See Carletti, below).

The dorian in Sumatra often forms a staple article of food, as the jack (q.v.) does in Malabar. By natives and old European residents in the Malay regions in which it is produced the dorian is regarded as incomparable, but novices have a difficulty in getting over the peculiar, strong, and offensive odour of the fruit, on account of which it is usual to open it away from the house, and which procured for it the inelegant Dutch nickname of stancker. “When that aversion, however, is conquered, many fall into the taste of the natives, and become passionately fond of it.” (Crawfurd, H. of Ind. Arch. i. 419.) [Wallace (Malay Arch. 57) says that he could not bear the smell when he “first tried it in Malacca, but in Borneo I found a ripe fruit on the ground, and, eating it out of doors, I at once became a confirmed Durian eater…the more you eat of it the less you feel inclined to stop. In fact to eat Durians is a new sensation, worth a voyage to the East to experience.”]

  By PanEris using Melati.

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