Benjamin Franklin Papers

To Benjamin Franklin from Gaetano Filangieri: Résumé, 27 October 1783

From Gaetano Filangieri

ALS:9 Historical Society of Pennsylvania

⟨La Cava,1 October 27, 1783, in Italian: I wish to thank you for the honor you do me in sending the code of the American Constitutions,2 a worthy product of the country, the times, the circumstances, and its authors. I would like to express my respect and admiration by sending you the fourth volume of my Works, which includes the second part of the Criminal Law.3 In it, I considered all the legislations of all peoples and of all times. I adopted what seemed reasonable and rejected, without partiality, what seemed useless or pernicious. My procedural approach required a new system which I propose under the Penal Code. I hope this work will meet with your approval, which would be the highest recognition for me.⟩

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The Italian text is published in Antonio Pace, Benjamin Franklin and Italy (Philadelphia, 1958), p. 401, and in Eugenio Lo Sardo, ed., Il mondo nuovo e le virtù civili: l’epistolario di Gaetano Filangieri (1772–1788) (Naples, 1999), pp. 248–9 (where it is misdated Nov. 27). The editors express their thanks to Graziano Kratli of the Yale University Library for his translation.

1Cava dei Tirreni, a town outside Naples. For Filangieri’s move to the country see XL, 298n.

2Constitutions des treize Etats-Unis de l’Amérique, which BF forwarded to Filangieri in July, through Luigi Pio: XL, 379.

3Filangieri had sent the third volume in July, advising BF that the fourth would follow within a few days and cautioning him to read both together. The two volumes make up Book III of La scienza della legislazione. See XL, 297–8.

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