MANGO-BIRD, s. The popular Anglo-Indian name of the beautiful golden oriole (Oriolus aureus, Jerdon). Its “loud mellow whistle” from the mango-groves and other gardens, which it affects, is associated in Upper India with the invasion of the hot weather.

1878.—“The mango-bird glances through the groves, and in the early morning announces his beautiful but unwelcome presence with his merle melody.”—Ph. Robinson, In My Indian Garden, 59.

MANGO-FISH, s. The familiar name of an excellent fish (Polynemus Visua of Buchanan, P. paradiseus of Day), in flavour somewhat resembling the smelt, but, according to Dr. Mason, nearly related to the mullets. It appears in the Calcutta market early in the hot season, and is much prized, especially when in roe. The Hindustani name is tapsi or tapassi, ‘an ascetic,’ or ‘penitent,’ but we do not know the rationale of the name. Buchanan says that it is owing to the long fibres (or free rays), proceeding from near the head, which lead the natives to associate it with penitents who are forbidden to shave. [Dr.

Grierson writes: “What the connection of the fish with a hermit was I never could ascertain, unless it was that like wandering Fakirs, they disappear directly the rains begin. Compare the uposatha of the Buddhists.” But tapasya means ‘produced by heat,’ and i s applied to the month Phagun (Feb.-March) when the fish appears; and this may be the origin of the name.]

1781.—“The BOARD OF TRUSTIES Assemble on Tuesday at the New Tavern, where the Committee meet to eat Mangoe Fish for the benefit of the Subscribers and on other special affairs.”—Hickey’s Bengal Gazette, March 3.

[1820.—“… the mangoe fish (so named from its appearing during the mangoe season).… By the natives they are named the Tapaswi (penitent) fish, (abbreviated by Europeans to Tipsy) from their resembling a class of religious penitents, who ought never to shave.”—Hamilton, Des. of Hindustan, i. 58.]

MANGO-SHOWERS, s. Used in Madras for showers which fall in March and April, when the mangoes begin to ripen.

MANGO-TRICK. One of the most famous tricks of Indian jugglers, in which they plant a mango-stone, and show at brief intervals the tree shooting above ground, and successively producing leaves, flowers, and fruit. It has often been described, but the description given by the Emperor Jahangir in his Autobiography certainly surpasses all in its demand on our belief.

c. 1610.—“… Khaun-e-Jehaun, one of the nobles present, observed that if they spoke truly he should wish them to produce for his conviction a mulberry-tree. The men arose without hesitation, and having in ten separate spots set some seed in the ground, they recited among themselves … when instantly a plant was seen springing from each of the ten places, and each proved the tree required by Khaun-e- Jehaun. In the same manner they produced a mango, an apple-tree, a cypress, a pine-apple, a figtree, an almond, a walnut … open to the observation of all present, the trees were perceived gradually and slowly springing from the earth, to the height of one or perhaps of two cubits.… Then making a sort of procession round the trees as they stood … in a moment there appeared on the respective trees a sweet mango without the rind, an almond fresh and ripe, a large fig of the most delicious kind … the fruit being pulled in my presence, and every one present was allowed to taste it. This, however, was not all; before the trees were removed there appeared among the foliage birds of such surpassing beauty, in colour and shape, and melody and song, as the world never saw before. … At the close of the operation, the foliage, as in autumn, was seen to put on its variegated tints, and the trees gradually disappeared into the earth.…”—Mem. of the Emp. Jehanguier, tr. by Major D. Price, pp. 96–97.

c. 1650.—“Then they thrust a piece of stick into the ground, and ask’d the Company what Fruit they would have. One told them he would have Mengues; then one of the Mountebanks hiding himself in the middle of a Sheet, stoopt to the ground five or six times one after another. I was so curious to go upstairs, and look out of a window, to see if I could spy what the Mountebank did, and perceived that after he had cut himself under the armpits with a Razor, he rubb’d the stick with his Blood. After the two first times that he rais’d himself, the stick seemed to the very eye to grow. The third time there sprung out branches with young buds. The fourth time the tree was covered with leaves; and the fifth time it bore flowers.… The English Minister

  By PanEris using Melati.

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