תמונות בעמוד

his drawings, but they were all bought. He was soon forgotton, excepting by two or three, whose feelings cool not so soon. Among his papers, many scraps of poetry were discovered, none worth the perusal, and one or two were on his death nd his dying in the Gulph. I may be wrong in thinking that he suffered from brokenheartedness; but those who know what it is to be burdened with a wounded spirit, can well conceive the most resolute natures bending under its control ; and a mind in some points so weak as poor G.'s, without the power of bearing up against such grief, or even the wish to subdue it, and so feelingly alive to all impressions of sadness, for he was seldom or never gay-would rapidly sink under less severe afllictions, than those he met with.



Art. V.-Flogging in India.

No doubt I shall be thought a monster of inhumanity, one of those cruel beings you see, like an Epic Poem, only once in some hundred years, if I dare to tell my friends, that I am an advocate for the fogging system, as the most merciful and best adapted, in the present state of things, for the purpose of justice. I know that it is a common practise to appeal to the feelings of the public in England ; that men who court popularity are fond of feeling the public pulse, and acting accordingly; that some bright examples of such an obliquity of judgement are flagrantly notorious in our own little island of Bombay ; and that they may be often found “ squatting like toads close at our ear”-

Essaying by their devilish art to reach
“ The organs of our fancy.”

Oh for Ithariel's spear to give these their proper shape and form ! They would then be found to be equally notorious for their deriliction in private of those natural charities, which they so preach up in public. According to their cry, the rattan in India is no other, than the cart-whip of the West Indies. They imagine, that we revel in blood and bruises; in short, that we are but one step from being regular anthropophagists, running the same race, which Pizarro and Alva have run before us, and are only kept from erecting an Inquisition in India from the want of funds, and due countenance from superior authorities. Then let it be so, I suppose I have little else to finish the picture than to address the heads

of one of these mighty flesh-birds of humanity, and thunder in the voice of adoration

Te sequor et quaero gentis decus, inque tuis nunc
Ficta pedum pono pressis vestigia signis.

For I certainly disclaim all relationship to these croakers, who

Like frogs croak lustily and loud by night,
But bail with silent modesty the light.

i. e. as long as the truth is not known, and they have a cover for their deeds, you never have them quiet ; but let the fact be known, and they are willing to give their tongues a rest. Then be thou my guide, thou great and venerable shade of Pizarro, through all the intricacies of this dark and gloomy subject !

Quod placco, (si placeo tecum erit.)

But joking apart, I hope to show my readers, that such a punishment as flogging is far from being cruel -I mean flogging as allowed in India to Magistrates in the districts, i. e. not more than eighteen strokes of the rattan. In the first place, I beg leave to state, that the increase of crime has been very great in this part of the country. It may be urged, that this notion arises from the greater number of criminals seized by our superior diligence : but I do not hesitate to say, that our Police is infinitely worse than in the Peshwa's time; it would be easy for any one after a short residence here, to be convinced of this fact, and that we are the immediate causes of this increase of crime. First, by our great leniency in punishing offenders-and secondly by the extreme (kindness I will not call it) tenderness, with which they are treated in the Jail. Hungry, lean, and miserable wretches, who enter this comfortable abode to them a palace rather than a prison--come out as if struck by the wand ofe an enchanter, as fat and sleek as the portliest Brahmin in the Konkan. Cinderella's rats, turned, in the twinkling of an eye, into magnificent coach horses, would give you a slight idea of the metamorphosis, In the jail they are well fed, have as much rice and ghee as they can cram down their throats; they are allowed regularly a barber, are never ill treated, and enjoy that otium cum dignitate which a Hindoo so much prizes. Add to this, they neither lose caste or character by being imprisoned ; and their friends and relatives hail them back to their threshold with as much applause as Regulus was loaded with by the Romans. So fond an idea do the natives entertain of this place of punishment, that it is a known fact many who cannot be satisfied with the poverty of their homes, commit petty thefts, in order to be sentenced to this haven of their


hopes. I approve entirely of all the kindness, which they meet with in the jail, but something else is wanting to make it a terrorand if it were a consequence that they should lose caste, the effects would be striking and advantageous. For the fact is, that they incur no disgrace-no loss of character by their confinement, which sufficiently proves the depravity of morals, and the worthlessness of opinion as a curb to vice among the natives of India - As to the leniency of our punishment, the most monstrous crimes meet with no greater check than what is called hard labour for a short term of years (but which, in fact, is little or no labour), or being banished for life or otherwise, which the natives think the severer chastisement of the two. Death is seldom inflicted, even on criminals of the most abandoned and villainous character, and who have been guilty of murder in its darkest shades. For theft alone flogging is awarded, and then only to the lowest castes, and with great caution-and here I would wish to state the pro's and con's at some length.

This district extends from North to South nearly 220 miles; there is but one jail—when at one extremity of this tract we are distant from the jail 170 miles, so that if an offender is brought before us for theft, we can, it is true, flog him ; but for other crimes of equal heinousness we have only the choice of condemuing him to the village Chokee (or house of confinement), or of fining him a sum of money. Generally the natives of this part of India are very poor and very selfish : so long as they can satisfy the cravings of hunger, they care little for their wives or children, and where the means of answering these hungry calls are cut off, rather than suffer, they would curtail the share their family receive from them : so that by fining a guilty man, the innocent feel the punishment most, and by confining him you deprive him of the benefit of his labour, while he is well fed, and little heeds the length of his imprisonment. Besides which, these village Chokies are common sheds, open to the four winds of heaven, and usually occupied by the guard stationed there for the preservation of the peace or the Company's Treasure-box : and what difference there is between those guarding and the person guarded, it is hard to tell; for they admit him, if of the same caste, to their familiarity; he smokes, plays, chats, eats and sleeps with them, and, if a facetious being, is a great acquisition to the society, which, no doubt, he is equally loth to quit when released. There are no places of solitary confinement, not one throughout the whole district. Can either of these modes of punishment, I would ask any reasonable man, answer the ends of justice? The simple truth that a guilty man's family suffers more than he does, is sufficient to sho the absurdity of the plan, and of compelling us to adhere to it so resolutely. Very different are the consequences, if you flog an individual: he alone suffers; the natives attach great opprobrium to corporal chastisement; they are marked men, and they dread its infliction. But it is cruel! there must be severity, however, or justice is no more justice. What boy at a public school, wben shrinking under the Herculian arm of a huge D. D., or head master, loaded with a rod like a besom, for hic, hoc, hoccing wrong, would not say it was cruel ; and if no compassion is felt for boys being “handed up” (as we used to say at Westminster) for so trivial a fault, how is it that we are so wondrous merciful towards men, who are offenders of the worst description, and whom, by dealing gently with them we excite to a greater commission of offences, and multiply misery at a tremendous rate. I own I cannot myself bear to see a man touched ; and if I did not think it my duty, I should abhor the thoughts of causing a single individual to suffer, as much as any other human being. I trust that it will not be thought from what I have said, that I am an advocate for an excess in this punishment. I have mentioned the sum total of our powers in this case, which, I think, are sufficient for the purpose of checking the evil, though an addition to the number wonld hardly make it heavier. I think Thirty strokes enough, and if we reflect on the enormity of the crime of thieving, we cannot deny the propriety of being severe in stopping its progress. I forgot to mention the great difficulty there is in pun ishing women-there being no proper place for confining them, we have no alternative but subjecting them to a fine, or for heinous crimes, such as adultery, &c. &c. setting them on a jackass pointed with their face to the tail, and drumming them through the village. Were fit places to be erected in different parts of the country for solitary imprisonment, there might then be no need of corporal punishment-but until then, the abolishing of it entirely would be an act of great absurdity and inhumanity, Bombay.



They have laid him in the dust,

With his sheet and shroud around him,
But his spirit's with the just,
And the Lord of Light has crowned him

An heir to deathlesss bliss.

Oh! this world is not the rest

Nor the home, for which we're longing,
But holier worlds where blest
The Immortal Hosts are thronging,
Nor worshipless like this.

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