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assigns to the offence he charged. At all events, deep disgrace, and fines more or less heavy, are his certain portion; and if it seem that he was actuated by malice, he shall surely suffer the doom he would have inflicted on the accused, be it greater or be it less. Informers and prosecutors, who have evidently no personal interest in the matter—those who are the retainers of the Darbár, or of the Minister-are expected and required, under a Hindú Government, to bring under judicial cognisance such breaches of the law of caste, and of the ritual purity of Hinduism, as they may chance to discover, and they are, of course, more considered than other informers; but they are liable, like ordinary informers, to the predicament of seeing their credit in society ruined, unless they dare the perilous event of purification by ordeal, with its contingency of ignominy and fines. Ordeals, however, whether for proof of innocence or for the clearing of the accuser, are rare, extraordinary, and seldom or never admitted where there is sufficient testimony of witnesses to be had. But whatever quantity of testimony be adduced, the confession of the accused must still be had. That confession is singly sufficient: without it, no quantity and quality of evidence will justify a condemnation ; a strange prejudice, producing all that harshness towards the accused, which (omitting the folly of ordeals, and that the people seem to love more than their rulers) is the only grave defect in the criminal judicatures of the country.
In Népál, when the arraignment of the prisoner is completed, he is asked for his answer; and if he confess, his confession is recorded, he is requested to sign it, and judgment is at once passed. If he deny the fact, the assessors of the judge call upon the prosecutor to come forward and establish his charge. A very animated scene then ensues, in which the parties are suffered to try their strength against each other—to produce their witnesses and counter-witnesses, their presumptions and counter-presumptions. The result of this conflict is usually to make the guilt of the accused very evident; and he commonly confesses when the trial is closed. But if the accused persist in refusing confession, the assessors of the judge then go formally into the evidence, and urge upon the accused all the criminative circumstances, and all the weight of testimony. If these be strong and decisive, and he still deny, he is browbeaten, abused, whipped till he confess; or, if all will not do, he is remanded indefinitely to prison.
If there be no eye-witness but the informer, or if the informer be not himself an eye-witness to the crime, and have no external witness to back his charge, he must, at all events, be furnished with strong presumptive proof (for woe betide him as he well knows, if he have neither !) wherewith to confirm his accusation. This proof is vehemently urged upon the prisoner by the court and by the accuser; and if the accused prevaricate or be sullen, he is scolded and whipped as before, till he confess. If he cannot be thus brought to confess, and there be but the accuser's assertion to the denial of the accused, the accuser, if he profess to have been an eye-witness, is now expected, for his own credit's sake, to make the appeal to the God of Truth, that is, to demand the ordeal. But if he be a man of eminent respectability, the court will probably, in such circumstances, instead of permitting the ordeal, administer to the accuser, being an eye-witness, a very solemn oath (witnesses and parties are not ordinarily sworn), under the sanction of which he will be required to depose afresh; and if his evidence be positive and circumstantial, and in harmony with the probabilities of the case, his single testimony will suffice for the conviction of the court, which will commit the prisoner indefinitely till he confess.
In matters of illicit intercourse between the sexes, where there are two parties under accusation, if the one confess and the other deny; and there is no positive testimony, and all the circumstantial evidence, however sternly urged upon the nonconfessing party, fails to draw forth an acknowledgment, the court, as a last resort, may command that the issue be referred to ordeal of the parties; or that the contumacious party be remanded to prison for a time, whence he is again brought before the court, and urged, as before, to confess. And if this second attempt to obtain the sine quâ non of judgment be ineffectual, the gods must decide where men could not; ordeal must cut the Gordian knot.
* This, in capital cases, is exactly the mode of proceeding formerly observed in the Dutch courts, and probably in many others in Europe. – ED.
Upon the whole, though it be a strange spectacle, and a revolting, to see the judge urging the unhappy prisoner, with threats, abuse, and whipping, “to confess and be hanged;" yet it is clearly true, that whippings and hard words are light in the balance, compared with hanging.
A capital felon, therefore, will seldom indeed be thus driven to confess a crime he has not committed, when he is sustained and aided by all those favourable circumstances, in the constitution of the tribunal, and in the forms of procedure already enumerated. Nor should it be forgotten, that if much rigour is sometimes used to procure a confession, the confession itself is most usually superfluous to justice; and is sought rather to satisfy a scruple of conscience, than as a substitute for deficient evidence.
ON THE NATIVE METHOD OF MAKING THE PAPER,
DENOMINATED IN HINDUSTAN, NEPÁLESE.
For the manufacture of the Népálese paper, the following implements are necessary, but a very rude construction of them suffices for the end in view :
ist. A stone mortar, of shallow and wide cavity, or a large block of stone, slightly but smoothly excavated.
2d. A mallet or pestle of hard wood, such as oak, and size proportioned to the mortar, and to the quantity of boiled rind of the paper plant which it is desired to pound into pulp.
3d. A basket of close wicker work, to put the ashes in, and through which water will pass, only drop by drop.
4th. An earthen vessel or receiver, to receive the juice of the ashes after they have been watered.
5th. A metallic open-mouthed pot, to boil the rind of the plant in. It may be of iron, or copper, or brass, indifferently; an earthen one would hardly bear the requisite degree of fire.
6th. A sieve, the reticulation of the bottom of which is wide and open, so as to let all the pulp pass through it, save only the lumpy parts of it.
7th. A frame, with stout wooden sides, so that it will float well in water, and with a bottom of cloth, only so porous, that the meshes of it will stay all the pulp, even when dilated and diffused in water; but will let the water pass off, when the frame is raised out of the cistern; the operator must also have the command of a cistern of clear water, plenty of fire-wood, ashes of oak (though I fancy other ashes might answer as well), a fire-place, however rude, and lastly, a sufficient quantity of slips of the inner bark of the paper tree, such as is peeled off the plant by the paper-makers, who commonly use the peelings when fresh from the plant; but that is not indispensable. With these "appliances and means to boot," suppose you take four seers of ashes of oak; put them into the basket above mentioned, place the earthen receiver or vessel beneath the basket, and then gradually pour five seers of clear water upon the ashes, and let the water drip slowly through the ashes, and fall into the receiver. This juice of ashes must be strong, or a dark-like red colour, and in quantity about two lbs., and if the first filtering yield not such a produce, pass the juice through the ashes a second time. Next, pour this extract of ashes into the metal pot, already described, and boil the extract; and so soon as it begins to boil, throw into it as many slips or peelings of the inner bark of the paper plant as you can easily grasp; each slip being about a cubit long, and an inch wide (in fact, the quantity of the slips of bark should be to the quantity of juice of ashes, such that the former shall float freely in the latter, and that the juice shall not be absorbed and evaporated with less than half an hour's boiling). Boil the slips for about half an hour, at the expiration of which time the juice will be nearly absorbed, and the slips quite soft. Then take the softened slips and put them into the stone mortar, and beat them with the oaken mallet, till they are reduced to a homogeneous or uniform pulp, like so much dough. Take this pulp, put it into any widemouthed vessel, add a little pure water to it, and churn it with a wooden instrument, like a chocolate mill, for ten minutes, or until it lose all stringiness, and will spread itself out, when shaken about under water. Next, take as much of this prepared pulp as will cover your paper frame (with a thicker or thinner coat, according to the strength of the paper you need), toss it into such a sieve as I have described, and lay the sieve upon the paper frame, and let both sieve and frame float in the cistern: agitate them, and the pulp will spread itself over the sieve; the grosser and knotty parts of the pulp will remain in the sieve, but all the rest of it will ooze through into the franie. Then put away the sieve, and taking the frame in your left hand, as it floats on the water, and pulp smartly with your right hand, and the pulp will readily diffuse itself in an uniform manner over the bottom of the frame. When it is thus pro