This man is suspended by his shoulders and ankles, in a very painful situation: at intervals, two attending officers afford some trifling alleviation of his sufferings, by supporting him with a bamboo, passed under his breast. Pencil, ink, and paper, are ready, to note down whatever he may say.
This punishment is chiefly inflicted upon such merchants as have been detected in committing frauds, impo sitions, or any other unwarrantable tricks of trade.
This horrible engine of barbarity and error is not peculiar to Roman Catholic countries, it is used even in China, for the purpose of extorting confession. The method of employing it, in torturing the ankles, is exhibited in this Plate.
The instrument is composed of a thick, strong plank, having a contrivance at one end to secure the hands, and at the other a sort of double wooden vice. The vice is formed of three stout uprights, two of which are moveable, but steadied by a block, that is fastened on each side. The ankles of the culprit being placed in the machine, a cord is passed round the uprights, and held fast by two men. The chief tormentor then gradually introduces a wedge into the intervals, alternately changing sides.
This method of forcing an expansion at the upper part, causes the lower ends to draw towards the central upright, which is fixed into the plank, and thereby compresses the ankles of the wretched sufferer; who, provided he be fortified by innocence, or by resolution, endures the advances of the wedge, until his bones are completely reduced to a jelly.
A small quantity of unslacked lime is put into pieces of cotton cloth, and closely applied to the organs of sight.
Culprit conveyed to prison, an iron chain around his neck.