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[Ed. Note: Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794), Milan-born Italian lawyer and economist, published his Dei delitti a delle pene (Crimes and Punishments) in 1764; his was the first work in modern Europe to call for an end to torture and excessively severe punishment for crimes, arguing that certainty of punishment was more important than extreme severity of punishment; his work had immense influence throughout Europe, particularly in Russia, Sweden, and the Habsburg Empire (the "Austrian Dominions" of the
title), as well as in the United States. --Nelson]
- HAIL to the sage divine of Milan's plains!
- Whose labours reach'd the horrors of the cell,
- Brought mercy down from Heav'n with man to dwell,
- And curb'd the biting laws, and check'd the reins
- Of justice too severe--and, lo! the chains,
- At thy command, from off the convict fell,
- The wheel appear'd no more, nor scaffold bell
- Bade him prepare for more than mortal pains.
- Oh! may thy voice pervade the nations round,
- And monarchs of their subjects' woes remind;
- So shall thy praise o'er earth and seas resound,
- Nor shall thy own Italia boast a name
- To be compar'd with thine in future fame,
- So lov'd by all the good, so dear to human kind.
- John Codrington Bampfylde
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