24 DECEMBER 1910, Page 17

from an article by Sydney Smith in the Edinburgh Review,

1802, may help to support your view that punishment should not be made too agreeable


A very curious circumstance took place in the kingdom of Denmark, in the middle of the last century (sc. 18th), relative to the infliction of capital punishment upon malefactors. They were attended from the prison to the place of execution by, priests, accompanied by a very numerous procession singing. psalms, &c. &c. : which ended, a long discourse was addressed by the priest to the culprit, who was hung as soon as he had heard it. This spectacle, and all the pious cares bestowed upon the criminals, so far seduced the imaginations of the common people, that many of them committed murder purposely to enjoy such inestimable advantages, and the government was positively obliged to make hanging dull as well as deadly, before it ceased to be an object of popular ambition."