HOW TO PUNISH CLUMSY SERVANTS. Management hints, 1502.
Rule # 1 for people with servants: stay in control at all times. Or as Machiavelli said: It’s better to be feared than loved.
Messer Ramiro d’Orco called for wine. A page brought a fresh flagon from the buffet. He stumbled among the rushes on the floor and tripped over the feet of a guard. The flagon broke and splashed wine on the ankle of his master.
If there’s anything that annoyed Messer d’Orco, it was a clumsy page. He took the lad by the belt, and slung him into the fire of the hearth, seizing the nearest halberd and pinning the twitching body to the flaming logs. The hair, in a flash, was gone. The slim legs violently writhed outward, and fell still. Hose and leather jerkin peeled, and the white flesh hissed and blackened. Then, nothing but small ash showed where the boy had died, and the smell of roasted human flesh mingled with the smell of the meats.
The quote is from Chronicles of the House of Borgia by Frederick Rolfe. Not sure I share his admiration for the Renaissance as a time when virtue and vice were extreme, passion primitive and ardent, life violent, and… respectable mediocrity of no importance whatever.