Page images
PDF
EPUB

deities adored in it, and their virtuous priests; let him also distribute largesses to the people, and cause a full exemption from terrour to be loudly proclaimed.

202. When he has perfectly ascertained the conduct and intentions of all the vanquished, let him fix in that country a prince of the royal race, and give him precise instructions.

203. Let him establish the laws of the conquered nation as declared in their books; and let him gratify the new prince * with gems and other precious gifts.

204. The seizure of desirable property, though it cause hatred, and the donation of it, though it cause love, may be laudable or blameable on different occasions :

205. All this conduct of human affairs is considered as dependent on acts ascribed to the deity, and on acts ascribed to men; now the operations of the deity cannot be known by any intenseness of thought, but those of men may be clearly discovered.

206. On the victor, considering an ally, territory, and wealth as the triple fruit of conquest, may form an alliance with the vanquished prince, and proceed in union with him, using diligent circumspection.

207. He should pay due attention to the prince, who supported his cause, and to any other prince in the circumjacent region, who checked that supporter, so that, both from a wellwisher and from an opponent, he may secure the fruit of his expedition.

208. By gaining wealth and territory a king acquires not so great an increase of strength, as by obtaining a firm ally, who, though weak, may hereafter be powerful.

209. That ally, though feeble, is highly estimable, who knows the whole extent of his duties, who gratefully remembers benefits, whose people are satisfied, or, who has a gentle nature, who loves his friend, and perseveres in his good resolutions.

210. Him have the sages declared an enemy hard to be

66

* The words “and his nobles” should have followed

the new prince;" we must therefore read, “and let him gratify the new prince and his nobles with gems, and other precious gifts.”

subdued, who is eminently learned, of a noble race, personally brave, dexterous in management, liberal, grateful, and firm.

211. Good-nature, knowledge of mankind, valour, benignity of heart, and incessant liberality, are the assemblage of virtues, which adorn a neutral prince, whose amity must be courted.

212. Even a salubrious and fertile country, where cattle continually increase, let a king abandon without hesitation for the sake of preserving himself:

213. Against misfortune, let him preserve his wealth ; at the expence of his wealth, let him preserve his wife ; but let him at all events preserve himself, even at the hazard of his wife and his riches.

214. A wise prince, who finds every sort of calamity rushing violently upon him, should have recourse to all just expedients, united or separate :

215. Let him consider the business to be expedited, the expedients collectively, and himself who must apply them; and, taking refuge completely in those three, let him strenuously labour for his own prosperity.

216. HAVING consulted with his ministers, in the manner before prescribed, on all this mass of publick affairs; having used exercise becoming a warriour, and having bathed after it, let the king enter at noon his private apartment for the purpose of taking food.

217. There let him eat lawful aliment, prepared by servants attached to his person, who know the difference of times and are incapable of perfidy, after it has been proved innocent by certain experiments, and hallowed by texts of the Véda repulsive of poison.

218. Together with all his food let him swallow such medical substances as resist venom; and let him constantly wear with attention such gems, as are known to repel it.

219. Let his females, well tried and attentive, their dress and ornaments having been examined, lest some weapon should be concealed in them, do him humble service with fans, water, and perfumes :

220. Thus let him take diligent care, when he goes out in

a carriage or on horseback, when he lies down to rest, when he sits, when he takes food, when he bathes, anoints his body with odorous essences, and puts on all his habiliments.

221. After eating, let him divert himself with his women in the recesses of his palace; and, having idled a reasonable time, let him again think of publick affairs :

222. When he has dressed himself completely, let him once more review his armed men, with all their elephants, horses, and cars, their accoutrements, and weapons.

223. At sunset, having performed his religious duty, let him privately, but well armed, in his interior apartment, hear what has been done by his reporters and emissaries :

224. Then, having dismissed those informers, and returning to another secret chamber, let him go, attended by women, to the inmost recess of his mansion for the sake of his evening meal;

225. There, having a second time eaten a little, and having been recreated with musical strains, let him take rest early, and rise refreshed from his labour.

226. This perfect system of rules let a king, free from illness, observe; but, when really afflicted with disease, he may intrust all these affairs to his officers.

CHAPTER VIII.

ON JUDICATURE; AND ON LAW, PRIVATE AND CRIMINAL.

1. A KING, desirous of inspecting judicial proceedings, must enter his court of justice, composed and sedate in his demeanour, together with Bráhmens and counsellors, who know how to give him advice :

2. There, either sitting or standing, holding forth his right arm, without ostentation in his dress and ornaments, let him examine the affairs of litigant parties.

3. Each day let him decide causes, one after another, under the eighteen principal titles of law by arguments and rules drawn from local usages, and from written codes :

4. Of those titles, the first is debt, on loans for consumption; the second, deposits, and loans for use; the third, sale without ownership; the fourth, concerns among partners; the fifth, subtraction of what has been given ;

5. The sixth, non-payment of wages or hire; the seventh, non-performance of agreements ; the eighth, rescission of sale and purchase; the ninth, disputes between master and servant;

6. The tenth, contests on boundaries; the eleventh and twelfth, assault and slander; the thirteenth, larceny; the fourteenth, robbery and other violence; the fifteenth, adultery;

7. The sixteenth, altercation between man and wife, and their several duties; the seventeenth, the law of inheritance; the eighteenth, gaming with dice and with living creatures : these eighteen titles of law are settled as the ground-work of all judicial procedure in this world.

8. Among men, who contend for the most part on the titles just mentioned, and on a few miscellaneous heads not comprised under them, let the king decide causes justly, observing primeval law.

9. But, when he cannot inspect such affairs in person, let him appoint, for the inspection of them, a Bráhmen of eminent learning :

10. Let that chief judge, accompanied by three assessors, fully consider all causes brought before the king; and, having entered the court-room, let him sit or stand, but not move backwards and forwards.

11. In whatever country three Bráhmens, particularly skilled in the three several Védas, sit together with the very learned Bráhmen appointed by the king, the wise call that assembly the court of BRAHMA' with four faces.

12. WHEN justice, having been wounded by iniquity, approaches the court, and the judges extract not the dart, they also shall be wounded by it.

13. Either the court must not be entered by judges, parties, and witnesses, or law and truth must be openly declared : that man is criminal, who either says nothing, or says what is false or unjust.

14. Where justice is destroyed by iniquity, and truth by false evidence, the judges, who basely look on without giving redress, shall also be destroyed.

15. Justice being destroyed, will destroy; being preserved, will preserve : it must never, therefore, be violated. “Beware, O judge, lest justice, being overturned, overturn both us and thyself.”

16. The divine form of justice is represented as Vrăsha, or a bull, and the gods consider him, who violates justice, as a Vrăshala, or one who slays a bull: let the king, therefore, and his judges beware of violating justice.

17. The only firm friend, who follows men even after death, is justice : all others are extinct with the body.

18. Of injustice in decisions, one quarter falls on the party in the cause; one quarter, on his witnesses; one quarter, on all the judges ; and one quarter on the king;

19. But where he, who deserves condemnation, shall be condemned, the king is guiltless, and the judges free from blame: an evil deed shall recoil on him, who committed it.

« PreviousContinue »