MUSSALLA to MUSSOOLA
MUSSALLA, s. P.H. (with change of sense from Ar. masalih, pl. of maslaha) materials, ingredients,
lit. things for the good of, or things or affairs conducive to good. Though sometimes used for the ingredients
of any mixture, e.g. to form a cement, the most usual application is to spices, curry-stuffs and the like.
There is a tradition of a very gallant Governor-General that he had found it very tolerable, on a sharp
but brief campaign, to rough it on chuprassies and mussaulchees (qq.v.), meaning chupatties and
1780.A dose of marsall, or purgative spices.Munro, Narrative, 85.
1809.At the next hut the
woman was grinding missala or curry-stuff on a flat smooth stone with another shaped like a rolling
pin.Maria Graham, 20.
MUSSAUL, s. Hind. from Ar. mashal, a torch. It is usually made of rags wrapt round a rod, and fed
at intervals with oil from an earthen pot.
c. 1407.Suddenly, in the midst of the night they saw the Sultans camp approaching, accompanied
by a great number of mashal.Abdurazzak, in N. & Exts. xiv. Pt. i. 153.
1673.The Duties1 march
like Furies with their lighted mussals in their hands, they are Pots filled with Oyl in an Iron Hoop like
our Beacons, and set on fire by stinking rags.Fryer, 33.
flambeaux quils appellent Mansalles.Luillier,
1809.These Mussal or link-boys.Ld. Valentia, i. 17.
1810.The Mosaul, or flambeau,
consists of old rags, wrapped very closely round a small stick.Williamson, V. M. i. 219.
nocturnal processions illumined by many hundred massauls or torches, illustrate the parable of the
Forbes, Or. Mem. 2nd ed. ii. 274.
[1857.Near him was another Hindoo
he is called a
Mussal ; and the lamps and lights are his special department.Lady Falkland, Chow-Chow, 2nd ed. i.
MUSSAULCHEE, s. Hind. mashalchi from mashal (see MUSSAUL), with the Turkish termination
chi, generally implying an agent. [In the Arabian Nights (Burton, i. 239) almashaili is the executioner.]
The word properly means a link-boy, and was formerly familiar in that sense as the epithet of the person
who ran alongside of a palankin on a night journey, bearing a mussaul. In Central India it is the special
duty of the barber (nai) to carry the torch ; hence nai commonly = torch-bearer" (M.-Gen. Keatinge).
The word [or sometimes in the corrupt form mussaul] is however still more frequent as applied to a
humble domestic, whose duty was formerly of a like kind, as may be seen in the quotation from Ld.
Valentia, but who now looks after lamps and washes dishes, &c., in old English phrase a scullion.
1610.He always had in service 500 Massalgees.Finch, in Purchas, i. 432.
they fix the head of the corpse rigidly with poles, and put a lamp with plenty of oil, and a mashalchí
[torch-bearer] alive into the vault, to look after the lamp.Shihábuddín Tálish, tr. by Blochmann, in J.A.S.B.
xli. Pt. i. 82.
[1665.They (flambeaux) merely consist of a piece of iron hafted in a stick, and surrounded
at the extremity with linen rags steeped in oil, which are renewed
by the Masalchis, or link boys, who
carry the oil in long narrow-necked vessels of iron or brass.Bernier, ed. Constable, 361.]
Massalgis du Grand Seigneur vinrent faire honneur à, M. lAmbassadeur avec leurs feux allumés.Journal
d Ant. Galland, ii. 103.
1686.After strict examination he chose out 2 persons, the Chout
(Chous ?), an Armenian, who had charge of watching my tent that night, and my Mossalagee, a person
who carries the light before me in the night.Hedges, Diary, July 2 ; [Hak. Soc. i. 232].
Torch-bearers.Letter of W. Mackrabie, in Francis, Letters, i. 227.]
un masolchi, ou porte-
flambeau, pour la nuit.B. de St. Pierre, La Chaumière Indienne, 16.
1809.It is universally the custom
to drive out between sunset and dinner. The Massalchees, when it grows dark, go out to meet their
masters on their return, and run before them, at the full rate of eight miles an hour, and the numerous
lights moving along the esplanade produce a singular and pleasing effect.Ld. Valentia, i. 240.
occupation of massaulchee, or torch-bearer, although generally allotted to the village barber, in
the purgannas under my charge, may vary in other districts.Forbes, Or. Mem. ii. 417 ; [2nd ed. ii.
1826.After a short conversation, they went away, and quickly returned at the head of 200 men,
accompanied by Mussalchees or torch - bearers. Pandurang Hari, 557 ; [ed. 1873, ii. 69].
mossolei, or man to light up the place.Asiatic Journal, N.S. v. 197.]