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dred piastres: according to the age of the deceased. If between thirty and thirty-five“, the penalty is five hundred piastres. .
The laws of the twelve tables were extremely severek; till they were silently abrogated by what was called the Persian law. “At this period,” says the greatest of all legal authorities, “ the republic flourished. Under the emperors severe punishments were revived; and then the empire fell."
In cases of treason, the laws of Macedono extended death to all the relations of the party convicted ; and that such severity was not unfrequently practised in the times of the Roman emperors, is evident from a passage in the pandects of Justinian : whenced one of the papal bulls derived the affectation of mercy, in ordaining a living punishment, in comparison with which death might be esteemed, not only a relief, but an honour. Burlamaqui e has observed, that “ as all human institutions are founded on the laws of God, so no human laws should be permitted to contradict them.” And yet torture was enacted upon the hypocritical pretence, that it arose out of a tenderness for the lives of men !
In the reigns of Theodosius and Valentinian, it was a capital offence to endeavour to convert a Pagan to Judaism, Christianity, or any other religion ;-—à monstrous license in the exercise of legislative authority! But in St. Domingo, during its early possession by the Spaniards, so little respect was paid to human life and error, that many of them made vows to destroy twelve Pagan Indians, every day, in honour of the twelve apostles. In Greece, several children were condemned, for pulling up
a Mariti, vol. i. p. 19. • In Pegu, creditors may sell their debtor, his wife, and all his children ; but, by the laws of the twelve tables, they might even cut his body in pieces, and each creditor have his share. This construction, however, has been, and may be, justly doubted.
Quint. Curt., lib. vi. 0 Comment., b. iv. c. 29.
On the Law of Nature and Nations. f Raynal, Hist. East and West Indies, b. vi. VOL. II.
a shrub in a sacred grove: and the Athenian judges even caused a child to be executed, for merely picking up a leaf of gold, which had fallen from the crown on the head of Diana's statue.
The following instances of cruelty are parallels worthy of each other. The fanatic, Damien, having attempted the life of Louis XV., after undergoing many exquisite tortures was condemned to die. At the place of execution he was stripped naked, and fastened by iron gyves to a scaffold. His right hand was put into a liquid of burning sulphur: his legs, arms, and thighs, were torn with red-hot pincers: then boiling oil and melted resin, sulphur and lead, were poured into the gashes : and, as a finale to this horrible tragedy, he was torn to pieces by four horses. The Dutch of Batavia a punished the chief of a supposed conspiracy, with twenty of his companions, in the following manner :-They stretched them on a cross ; tore the flesh from their arms, legs, and breasts, with hot pincers. They ripped up their bellies, and threw their hearts in their faces. Then they cut off their heads, and exposed them to the fowls of the air. After this they returned public thanks to heaven!
The Turkish history furnishes many instances. The city of Famagusta having been bravely defended by a Venetian nobleman, named Bragadin, at length surrendered to the superior force of Mustapha. The conduct of Bragadin had been that of a valiant and skilful general; but Mustapha was so enraged at the ability he had displayed in the siege, that he caused him to be flayed alive. Then he stuffed his skin with straw, tore his body in pieces, and scattered his several members over the different parts of the fortifications. The head and skin were sent to Constantinople; where they were bought by his brother, who caused them to be buried at Venice, in the church of St. Paul and St. John. But this is an instance of clemency, when compared with many Turkish practices.
a Barrow, Cochin China, p. 222, 4to.
In the year 1813 torture was inflicted, in Algiers, upon the Bey of Oran a. He was brought out with his three children. These children were, in his presence, opened alive, and their hearts taken out. The hearts were afterwards roasted, and the father condemned to eat them. The Bey was then forced to impale two of his slaves : he was then made to sit upon a red-hot iron : then a red-hot iron was put upon his head, which was afterwards scalped. At last they opened his side, and took out his heart and intestines. The merciless Aga of the Janissaries, (afterwards the Dey of Algiers, so humbled by the Earl of Exmouth,) then took the skin of the Bey's head, filled it with straw, and sent it to Tunis. To add to the depravity and horror of this scene, it was acted before the door of the house, in which the unfortunate Bey's wife then was.
Lysimachus • is said to have shut up a friend, who had offended him, in a den, and cut off his ears and nose ; where, naked and in filth, the unfortunate captive lost, as it were, the form and nature of man. Clotaire the First, of France, exercised a worse cruelty than this, even upon his own son. For having taken Chramnes prisoner, with his wife and children, he caused them to be put into a small cottage, thatched with reeds ; when the cottage was fired, and the whole family perished.
Cruelties have been exercised, also, towards animals, in a manner scarcely to be credited. The Abyssinian soldiers frequently cut off flesh from their cows, without killing them; and thus continue, from day to day, till the animal dies, In England, too,-horresco referens !—the present Duke of Portland, at the death of his father, caused all the deer in Bulstrode Park to be slaughtered, and buried. A great number were destroyed in this manner. No person was allowed to eat of their flesh ; nor to benefit himself by their skins. The keepers shed tears; the gentry remonstrated; the whole kingdom sent forth execrations; and the slaughter was stopped. His Grace, soon after, sold the estate, and left a county, which had been so grossly insulted and offended a. Not long after this event, I chanced to travel near the spot, and conversed with one of the keepers. “ It is all true, sir," said he ; “ the number of tears I shed, no man can tell! The deer, the stags, even the little fawns, most of which I had fondled in my arms, I saw barbarously butchered, before my face : and I could not sleep for weeks, but I fancied I heard them bleating to me for mercy.” · We may here make a few observations on the inequality of punishments to crimes. In Wales, to the time of Henry VIII., the loss of a finger was compensated by one cow and twenty pence; and a life by seventy thrymes (ten pounds), In France, it was once so heinous to touch the hand of a free woman, without consent, that the offender was fined not less than fifteen sols of gold: while in Dahomy d it is esteemed criminal to discourse on politics ! or, indeed, to make any remarks upon the administration of public affairs.
* Salame's Narrative of the Expedition to Algiers, pp. 215, 216.
b Seneca, de Ira. € Asserted by Bruce ; doubted by many; but confirmed by Clarke, and other travellers.
Some legislators seem to have borrowed their creeds from the worst portion of the ancient stoics, who considered all crimes equal. Cicero e and Horace ",—if men, occupied in profiting by the present, can be sufficiently wise to profit by the past,—will teach them, equally with Beccaria and common sense, that the doctrine is neither suited to the principles of justice, nor conducive to the great purposes of public utility.
There is no wisdom in fomenting provincial, or even national
stolen if mer.
a Why this was done, has, I believe, never been explained, even to this day, April 5, 1837.
b Leges Wall. 278.
St. Foix, vol. ii. p. 81.
f Sat. iii. v. 97.
antipathies. Governments, in general, indicate great weakness in this particular. Are the savages of Africa worthy of imitating? The Feloops a of the Gambia not only never forgive an injury, but they transmit their feuds from one generation to another. With them revenge is a virtue, as among the ancient Romans. In Messûr b, the people were even accustomed to cut off the noses of their prisoners of war; to salt them; and then to send them to the court of their prince. The fury of Tamerlane, Genghis Khan, and the sultans of the Turks, were satiated by receiving the heads of their enemies : and the Prussians exercised the wantonness of their hatred towards the French, during the late campaign, by cutting off their ears. The Javanese have such an antipathy to the natives of the Coromandel coast, whom they call Khojas, that they have the following proverb: “If you meet a snake and a Khoja, on the same road, kill the Khoja first, and the snake last.”.
The tomahawk of an American Indian serves for a hatchet and a tobacco pipe: and the most honourable ornaments in his hut are the scalps he has taken from the skulls of his enemies. The act of scalping seemed so worthy a practice to the early settlers of Kentucky, that they not only imitated the example, by scalping the Indians, but even cut off the skin from the backs of those that had fallen, and made razorstraps d of them. To the lasting disgrace of the French and English, the practice of scalping was even encouraged by both, during their senseless contests on the American continent. The American allies of Great Britain bore such an antipathy to the French, that they threw the dead bodies and mangled limbs of their prisoners into cauldrons, and devoured them with as much pleasure, as if they had been animals. The Battas of Sumatra, too, eat the flesh of their enemies ; not so much for the value of the food, but as a method of showing their scorn and
a Park's Travels, p. 15, 4to.. € Raffles' Hist. of Java, p. 154, 4to.
b Fryer's Trav., p. 163. d Palmer's Trav. Amer., p. 108.