CHAPTER XII – CREATION OF WANDERING SPIES

1THOSE orphans (asambandhinah) who are to be necessarily fed by the state and are put to study science, palmistry (angavidya), sorcery (máyágata), the duties of the various orders of religious life, legerdemain (jambhakavidya), and the reading of omens and augury (antara-chakra), are classmate spies or spies learning by social intercourse (samsargavidyasatrinah).
2Such brave desperados of the country who, reckless of their own life, confront elephants or tigers in fight mainly for the purpose of earning money are termed fire-brands or fiery spies (tíkshna).
3Those who have no trace of filial affection left in them and who are very cruel and indolent are poisoners (rasada).
4A poor widow of Bráhman caste, very clever, and desirous to earn her livelihood is a woman ascetic (parivrájiká). Honoured in the king’s harem, such a woman shall frequent the residences of the king’s prime ministers (mahámátrakuláni).
5The same rule shall apply to women with shaved head (munda), as well as to those of súdra caste. All these are wandering spies (sancháráh).
6Of these spies, those who are of good family, loyal, reliable, well-trained in the art of putting on disguises appropriate to countries and trades, and possessed of knowledge of many languages and arts shall be sent by the king to espy in his own country the movements of his ministers, priests, commanders of the army, the heir-apparent, the door-keepers, the officer in charge of the harem, the magistrate (prasástri), the collector-general (samáhartri), the chamberlain (sannidhátri), the commissioner (pradeshtri), the city constable (náyaka), the officer in charge of the city (paura), the superintendent of transactions (vyávahárika), the superintendent of manufactories (karmántika), the assembly of councillors (mantriparishad), heads of departments (adhyaksháh), the commissary-general (dandapála), and officers in charge of fortifications, boundaries, and wild tracts.
7Fiery spies, such as are employed to hold the royal umbrella, vase, fan, and shoes, or to attend at the throne, chariot, and conveyance shall espy the public character (báhyam cháram) of these (officers).
8Classmate spies shall convey this information (i.e., that gathered by the fiery spies) to the institutes of espionage (samsthásvarpayeyuh).
9Poisoners such as a sauce-maker (súda), a cook (arálika), procurer of water for bathing (snápaka) shampooer, the spreader of bed (ástaraka), a barber (kalpaka), toilet-maker (prasádaka), a water-servant; servants such as have taken the appearance of a hump-backed person, a dwarf, a pigmy (kiráta), the dumb, the deaf, the idiot, the blind; artisans such as actors, dancers, singers, players on musical instruments, buffoons, and a bard; as well as women shall espy the private character of these officers.
10A mendicant woman shall convey this information to the institute of espionage.
11The immediate officers of the institutes of espionage (samsthánámantevásinah) shall by making use of signs or writing (samjnálipibhih) set their own spies in motion (to ascertain the validity of the information).
12Neither the institutes of espionage nor they (the wandering spies) shall know each other.
13If a mendicant woman is stopped at the entrance, the line of door-keepers., spies under the guise of father and mother (mátápitri vyanjanáh), women artisans, court-bards, or prostitutes shall, under the pretext of taking in musical instruments, or through cipher-writing (gudhalekhya), or by means of signs, convey the information to its destined place (cháram nirhareyuh.)
14(Spies of the institutes of espionage) may suddenly go out under the pretext of long standing disease, or lunacy, or by setting fire (to something) or by administering poison (to some one).
15When the information thus received from these three different sources is exactly of the same version, it shall be held reliable. If they (the three sources) frequently differ, the spies concerned shall either be punished in secret or dismissed.
16Those spies who are referred to in Book IV, “Removal of Thorns,” shall receive their salaries from those kings (para, i.e., foreign) with whom they live as servants; but when they aid both the states in the work of catching hold of robbers, they shall become recipients of salaries from both the states (ubhayavetanáh).
17Those whose sons and wives are kept (as hostages) shall be made recipients of salaries from two states and considered as under the mission of enemies. Purity of character of such persons shall be ascertained through persons of similar profession.
18Thus with regard to kings who are inimical, friendly, intermediate, of low rank, or neutral, and with regard to their eighteen government departments (ashtáldasa-tírtha), spies shall be set in motion.
19The hump-backed, the dwarf, the eunuch, women of accomplishments, the dumb, and various grades of Mlechcha caste shall be spies inside their houses.
20Merchant spies inside forts; saints and ascetics in the suburbs of forts; the cultivator and the recluse in country parts; herdsmen in the boundaries of the country; in forests, forest-dwellers, sramanás, and chiefs of wild tribes, shall be stationed to ascertain the movements of enemies. All these spies shall be very quick in the dispatch of their work.
21Spies set up by foreign kings shall also be found out by local spies; spies by spies of like profession. It is the institutes of espionage, secret or avowed, that set spies in motion.
22Those chiefs whose inimical design has been found out by spies supporting the king’s cause shall, in view of affording opportunity to detect the spies of foreign kings, be made to live on the boundaries of the state.