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attributes of penal justice in Népil; and these would amply suflice for the prisoner's just protection, but for the vehemence with which confessions are sought, even when they are utterly superfluous, but for the fatal efficacy of those confessions and but for the intervention of ordeals. Ordeals, however, are more frequently asked for than commanded ; and perhaps it is true that rolenti non fit injuría : at all events, with reference to enforced confessions, it must not be supposed that the infamous ingenuity of Europe has any parallel in Népal, or that terrible engines are ever employed in secret to extort confessions. No! the only torture known to these tribunals is that of stern interrogation and brow-beating, and, more rarely, the application of the kórí : * but all this is done in the face of day, under the judge's eye, and in an open tribunal; and though it may soinetimes compromise innocence, its by far more common effect is to reach guilt. Besides, with respect to ourselves, the mere presence of the Residency Munshi, pending the trial of one of our followers, would prevent its use, or at least abuse, in regard to him. Or, ere submitting our followers to the Népalese tribunals, we might bargain successfully with the Darbár for the waiving of this coercion, as well as for the non-intervention of the proof ordeal, unless with the consent of the party. And if these two points were conceded to us, I should, I confess, have no more hesitation in committing one of our followers to a Népálese tribunal at Kathmándú, than I should in making him over to our own courts. I have mentioned, that the prisoner is allowed the assistance of counsel; but the expression must be understood to refer to the aid of friends and relatives, for there are no professional pleaders in Népál.
There are no common spies and informers attached to the courts of justice, nor any public prosecutors in the name of the State. The casual informer is made prosecutor, and he acts under a fearful responsibility; for if he fails to prove the guilt he charges, if he have no eye-witnesses to the principal fact besides himself, and the accused resolutely persevere in denial, a man of respectability must clear his character by demanding the ordeal, in which, if he be cast, the judgment upon him may be to suffer all, or the greater part of that evil which the law
• A kind of whip.
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 0: be it less. Informers and prosecutors, who have evidently ro 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 presuniptions 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 lie 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 qua 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 Nepalese 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