By Anjuli Kolb

1. “Whoever causes hurt by corrosive substance shall be punished with imprisonment for life or imprisonment of either description which shall not be less than fourteen years with a minimum fine of Rs1 million.” —Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Act, amendment to the Pakistan Penal Code, passed unanimously in the Pakistan Senate on Dec 12, 2011.

2. "A person, for example, who mixes a deleterious potion, and places it on the table of another; a person who conceals a scythe in the grass on which another is in the habit of walking; a person who digs a pit in a public path, intending that another may fall into it, may cause serious hurt, and may be justly punished for causing such hurt; but they cannot, without extreme violence to language, be said to have committed assaults. We propose to designate all pain, disease, and infirmity, by the name of hurt. We have found it very difficult to draw a line between those bodily hurts which are serious and those which are slight. To draw such a line with perfect accuracy is, indeed, absolutely impossible, but it is far better that such a line should be drawn….We have, therefore, designated certain kinds of hurt as grievous. We have given this name to emasculation…” —Annotated Indian Penal Code, 1838.

3. “Le Verbeau hit Marie Champion right on her breasts, but burned his eye, because acid is not a precision weapon.” —Félix Fénéon, Novels in Three Lines, 1906. 

Let Me Recite What History Teaches (LMRWHT) is a weekly column that flashes the lavalamp, gaslight, candlelight, campfire, torch, sometimes even the starlight of the past on something that is happening now. The form of the column strives to recover what might be best about the “wide-eyed presentation of mere facts.” Each week you will find here some citational constellation, offered with astonishment, that can serve as an end in itself, or an occasion for further thought or writing. The title is taken from the last line of Stein’s poem “If I Told Him (A Completed Portrait of Picasso)"