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way, the whole population of Nepaul in seven years learns more or less of the duties of a soldier. The standing army amounts in peace to about sixteen thousand men per annum, ergo, on the annual enrolment plan, one hundred and twelve thousand men in seven years would have learnt at least the use of the musket, with a few notions of marching and counter-marching, forming square, column, quarter distance, and marching past by companies in review, which is the fullest extent of all the manæuvres I ever saw them practise on parade. Their instructors take it for granted they are good marksmen for no powder or ball is ever expended on target practice.
It may not be out of place to say something of the laws of Nepaul, and the way in which they are administered. The laws for political offences depend entirely upon the strength or weakness of the party they are enforced against ; and his guilt or innocence depends upon the faction in power.
I was much amused one day by being seriously informed by one of the
high priests of Nepaul and an ex-minister, the late Gooroo, Rugnauth Pundit, that it was thus written in a very old Hindoo work in his possession, and of the truth of which he said I was aware, “That those seeking for learning should
to Benares—those seeking for justice should go to Nepaul, or rather Goorkha, which is fifty miles farther north." My own impression, although I did not tell the learned priest so, was—" You might seek it, possibly find it, but it would be a very dangerous experiment.”
One of their laws regarding adultery, is not only a very summary one; but often very gratifying to the feelings of an injured husband. Should such a crime be perpetrated, as it often is during the absence of the husband, and be detected, he, on his return, is duly informed of the stain on his honour, and is an outcast until the stain be removed. He is neither permitted to eat with, smoke with, nor even visit, his friends and relations, until he has avenged the disgrace. He accordingly sets
to work immediately; but as the seducer, on the return of the husband, contrives to make himself scarce, the injured man has to await patiently his return, or the opportunity of meeting him.
In this way sometimes years are spent. At length, perhaps, the wished-for moment arrives. The wronged husband waylays his dishonourer; steals up to him as he would to a deer' ; quietly draws his kookery, rushes behind him, and with one blow severs his head from his body.
Justice is now done; his honour is avenged; and he is admitted to caste. One little trifle alone remains; he has to cut his wife's nose off, which is soon done, to prevent any one falling in love with her again.
It would be vain to attempt to produce, from the confused and contradictory documents available to us, anything like consistent relations of the theory and gradations by which the Goorkhas (the aboriginal inhabitants of Goorkhaina, a mountain city in Nepaul, in Lat. 2752 N. Long. 84
22 E.) rose to power, in the hilly tract stretching between the plains of Hindostan and the highlands of Tartary and Thibet. Still less competent are we to trace the history of Nepaul anterior to the conquest, which changed the character of the
country and materially enlarged its political dimensions. Let us be satisfied with a rough sketch of the rise and progress of Nepaul from the year 1760 and thereabouts.
For a considerable time anterior to 1760, it seems that the hill-chieftains or rajahs—an ignorant, selfish set of petty tyrants—had been at issue with their subjects and neighbours, and more particularly with their own relations. Thus, while there was amongst them no principle of combination for mutual defence against a common enemy, not one or the petty principalities was sufficiently strong or united within itself to be capable of substantial resistance.
The Goorkha chiefs were at all times as ready to apply the influence of intrigue as open force, and could well combine both for the prosecution of their ends. They had a regular army, obedient to its officers, and the whole in proper subordination to the state. This was always available to the weaker party, upon conditions, and the frequent internal