Beccaria, Bonesana Mauquis Cæsar

, a political writer of considerable note, was born at Milan in 1735, and died in the same place in 1793 or 1794. In his first publication, which appeared at Lucca in 1762, he pointed cut several abuses, with their remedies, in the system of coinage adopted in the state of Milan. A short time after, some literary gentlemen of Milan projected a periodical | work, which was to contain essays on various subjects of philosophy, morals, and politics, calculated to enlighten the public mind. It was accordingly published in the years 1764 and 1765, under the title of “The Coffeehouse,” and when collected, the papers formed 2 vols. 4to, of which the most interesting and original were from the pen of Beccaria. It was likewise in 1764, that he published his celebrated treatise on “crimes and punishments,” “Dei Delitti e delle Pene,” 12mo, a work to which some objections may he made, and in which there are some inconsistencies, yet few works were read with more avidity, or more directly tended to introduce a humane and wise system in the criminal law. Within eighteen months of its publication, six editions of the Italian were eagerly bought up, and it is computed that it has since gone through above fifty editions and translations. The English translation published in 1766 contained also a commentary attributed to Voltaire, but contributing more to amuse than instruct the reader. Much, however, as the author was applauded by the enlightened part of the world, he was likely to have been brought into trouble by the bigotry of his countrymen, had he not met with very powerful protection. In 1768 the Austrian government founded a professorship of political economy for him, and his lectures on that subject were published in 1804, 2 vols. 8vo, under the title of “Elemens d’economie publique.” In 1770 he published the first part of his “Recherches sur la nature du style,Milan, 8vo. There are some shrewd remarks in this, but he appears to have got into the paradoxical way of writing, and endeavours to prove that every individual has an equal degree of genius for poetry and eloquence. 1