Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER II.: OF PUNISHMENTS. - An Essay on Crimes and Punishments
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CHAPTER II.: OF PUNISHMENTS. - Cesare Bonesana di Beccaria, An Essay on Crimes and Punishments 
An Essay on Crimes and Punishments. By the Marquis Beccaria of Milan. With a Commentary by M. de Voltaire. A New Edition Corrected. (Albany: W.C. Little & Co., 1872).
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This misfortune, and this very hard law, with which I was so sensibly affected, prompted me to cast my eyes on the criminal code of nations. The humane author of the Essay on Crimes and Punishments, had but too much cause to complain, that the latter frequently exceed the former, and are sometimes detrimental to the state they were intended to serve.
Those ingenious punishments, the ne plus ultra of the human mind, endeavouring to render death horrible, seem rather the inventions of tyranny than of justice.
The punishment of the wheel was first introduced in Germany in the times of anarchy, when those who usurped the regal power resolved to terrify, with unheard-of torments, those who should dispute their authority. In England they ripped open the belly of a man guilty of high-treason, tore out his heart, dashed it in his face, and then threw it into the fire. And wherein did this high-treason frequently consist? In having been, during a civil war, faithful to an unfortunate king; or, in having spoken freely on the doubtful right of the conqueror. At length, their manners were softened; they continued to tear out the heart, but not till after the death of the offender. The apparatus is dreadful, but the death is mild, if death can ever be mild.