A, Wires to catch side of ship. B, Lead weight. C, Jars of Gunpowder. D, Case with side broken away to show jars. E, Raft.
A, Can buoy containing powder. B, Box containing lighted match and punk below. C, Lid or slide between match and punk. D, String for pulling out slide, to allow match to ignite punk.
Painting a rock
He is held securely by two men, in the service of a tribunal, who are
instructed to give pain, by a particular method of twisting the cartilages of the ears .
This is effected by placing small pieces of wood betwixt them, and then drawing them very forcibly together with cords. It is frequently
inflicted as a punishment upon disorderly women .
There are no people existing, who pay so sacred an attention to the laws of decency as the Chinese ; habituated in preserving the constant appearance of modesty and self -controul, nothing is more uncommon
amongst them, than deleterious examples of unblushing vice ; and if there be truth in the old maxim , that want of decency, either in action , or in word, betrays a deficiency of understanding, they certainly indicate more sense than some other nations , who affect to excel them in education and refinement. The general manners of people of every condition in China wear as modest a habit, as their persons. They discover no gratification in wresting their proper language into impure
meanings; and grossly offensive phrases are only to be heard amongst the very dregs of the community, and at the risk of immediate and
severe judicial correction .
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.
This sort of punishment, being deemed in the highest degree ignominious , is only inflicted for crimes, which are regarded by the Chinese
government, as the most prejudicial to society ; such as conspiracy,assassination , committing any offence against the person of the Emperor, or attempting the life of any of the imperial family ; revolting, insurrection , striking a parent, or any other unnatural sort of crime. The malefactor, who is condemned to be beheaded, is made to kneel upon the ground, the board of infamy is taken from his back, and the executioner, by a single blow of a two - handed sword, strikes off his head with great dexterity. These headsmen , and indeed, the generality of inferior officers of justice in China, are selected from the soldiery, according to the custom of primitive barbarians ; neither is this employment considered more ignominious, than the post of principal officer of executive justice in other countries . Decapitation is held, by the Chinese, as the most disgraceful kind of death ; because the head, which is the principal part of a man , is separated from the body, and that body is not consigned to the grave as entire as he received it from his parents ..
If a great mandarin be convicted of any atrocious offence, he is executed in this manner like the meanest person . After the head is severed , it is frequently suspended from a tree, by the side of a public road ; the body is thrown into a ditch , the law having deemed it unworthy the respect of regular funereal rites .
When a sentence is submitted to the Emperor for his approbation, if the crime be of the first degree of atrocity , he orders the malefactor to be executed without delay ; when it is only of an ordinary nature, he
directs, that the criminal shall be imprisoned until the autumn, and then executed ; a particular day of that season being allotted for such ceremonies.
The Emperor of China seldom orders a subject to be executed , until he has consulted with his first law officers, whether he can avoid it, with out infringing on the constitution of his realm . He fasts for a certain
period, previous to signing an order for an execution ; and his imperial
majesty esteems those years of his reign the most illustrious and most
fortunate , in which he has had the least occasion to let fall upon his
subjects the rigorous sword of justice.
The usual capital punishments in China are strangling, and beheading. The former is the most common , and is decreed against those, who are found guilty of crimes, which , however capital, are only held in the
second `rank` of atrocity. For instance, all acts of homicide, whether intentional or accidental; every species of fraud, committed upon government : the seduction of a woman, whether married or single; giving abusive language to a parent, plundering or defacing a burying place ; robbing with destructive weapons : and for wearing pearls. It
would not, perhaps, be possible to form any probable conjecture of the motive, which has induced the Chinese legislators to attach the pain of death to the wearing of a precious gem . The fact is, therefore, only stated from the information of various writers, and remains to be explained by some future commentator.
Criminals are sometimes strangled with a bow -string, but on general occasions, a cord is made use of, which fastens the person to a cross, and one turn being taken round his neck , it is drawn tight by an athletic executioner.
Men of distinction ,are usually strangled, as the more honourable death ; and where the Emperor is inclined to shew an extraordinary mark of attention towards a mandarin , condemned to die, he sends him a silken
cord, with permission to be his own executioner .
This punishment is deemed very disgraceful. The collar is formed of heavy pieces of wood, closed together, and having a hole in the
centre, which fits the neck of the offender, who, when this machine is upon him, can neither see his own feet, nor put his hands to his mouth . He is not permitted to reside in any habitation , nor even to
take rest for any considerable length of time, an inferior officer of justice constantly attending, to prevent him. By night and by day, he carries this load , which is heavier or lighter, according to the nature of the crime, and the strength of the wearer. The weight of the common sort of these wooden collars , is only fifty or sixty pounds, but there are those, which weigh two hundred, and which are so grievous to the bearers that sometimes , through shame, pain , want of proper nourishment, or of natural rest, they have been known to expire under them . The criminals find various methods, however, of mitigating this punishment: by walking in company with their relations and friends, who support the corners of the collar, and prevent it from pressing upon the shoulders ; by resting it upon a table , a bench , or against a tree; or, according to the representation in the accompanying Plate, by having chair constructed for the purpose, with four posts of equal heights to support the machine. When this ponderous incumbrance is fixed upon
an offender, it is always before the magistrate, who has decreed it ; and upon each side, over the places where the wood is joined , long slips of paper are pasted, upon which the name of the person , the crime, which he has committed, and the duration of his punishment, are written, in very distinct characters ; a seal is likewise stamped upon the paper, to prevent the instrument from being opened . Three months is the usual time appointed for those to bear about this collar, who have been convicted of robbery. For defamation, gambling, or breaches of the peace ,it is carried a few weeks ; and insolvent debtors are sometimes ordered to bear it, until they have satisfied their creditors . When the offender is to be liberated from the collar, it must be in
the presence of the magistrate, who has imposed it ; he then generally
orders him a few blows of the pan-tsee, and dismisses him, with an
exhortation to comport himself more regularly in future .
Near the figure in this Engraving, are represented the basin and the
sort of spoon , by which persons in that situation are supplied with
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, together with the preceding one, is chiefly inflicted upon such merchants as have been detected in committing frauds, impositions, or any other unwarrantable tricks of trade.
A piece ofbamboo cane is provided, which nearly corresponds with
the height of the criminal, and is of considerable circumference. This
bamboo being perfectly hollow , admits the passage of a large iron chain, one end of which is rivetted round a stake, the other encircles his neck, and is confined there by a padlock. His legs are fettered by a few links of chain.
A large piece of bamboo cane is placed behind his knees; this is trampled on by two men, one standing on each end, and who convey more or less pain, as they approach to, or recee from, his person. A punishment, decreed against interpreters, detected of wilful misinterpretation.
A species of correction appointed for boatmen, or, as they are termed
in England, watermen . Having been convicted of some misbehaviour,
he is compelled to kneel : one of the officers of justice prevents him
from flinching, whilst another grasps his hair, and bestows a certain
number of blows upon each side of his face, with a sort of double
battledore, made of thick leather.
This punishment is reported to have been inflicted upon malefactors,
who have endeavoured to make their escape. A vessel containing
Chunam , a species of mortar, is at hand , to be applied, by way of styptic , to the wounds. It is said , that this punishment has been lately abolished , the legislature considering, that the natural inclination for liberty, merited not a chastisement of such severity.
A PERSON, sentenced to transportation, is thus led, by an officer of justice, into the country appointed for his future residence . He carries a mat to serve him as a bed, and a leaf of a palm tree, to protect him from the weather. Upon his back, his crime, his sentence, and his name, are displayed in conspicuous characters.
This punishment is inflicted upon those, who have struck an elder brother ; who have incurred debts by gaming, which they are unable to pay ; and for such other offences as appear to render the perpetrator unworthy to continue in his native country .
When offenders are thus conducted into some distant province, they are to be recalled, but, if into Tartary, their banishment is perpetual.
This criminal is fastened , at full length, upon a sort of bedstead, a
chump of wood serving for a pillow. His hands and his feet are loaded
with iron manacles and fetters ; his neck is chained to a post, and
fastened by two padlocks.
A small quantity of unslacked lime is put into pieces of cotton cloth, and closely applied to the organs of sight.
He is thrown flat upon his face, and held in that position by one, or
more, if necessary, of the magistrate's attendants kneeling upon his
back, whilst another applies the pan-tsee to his posteriors.
The pan-tsee is a thick piece of split bamboo cane, the lower end of
which is about four inches in width, and the upper end small and smooth , to render the instrument more convenient for the hand. Mandarins of
power have usually some persons in their train , who attend them with
these pan-tsees , whenever they travel, or go into public, and who are
ready, at the nod of their master, to exercise their office in the manner described .* After this ceremony, it is customary for the delinquent to return thanks to the Mandarin , for the good care he takes of his
A strong ring of iron is passed through one corner of a short, heavy,
piece of timber. From this ring, a weighty chain is continued round
the neck of the man, and fastened, by a padlock, upon his breast.
This person is farther secured by a chain from his neck to his ankle,
from whence another chain proceeds, round one of the corner posts of
his wooden cage , the entrance to which is through two moveable bars ;
these bars are fastened by an iron bolt, that passes through some staples, and is prevented from sliding, by a padlock.
A plank serves this prisoner for a seat, and for a bed.
The convict is fettered, and, if he uses abusive or inflammatory language, gagged. His arms are pinioned behind his back, and he bears a board, on which are written his name, his crime, and his sentence. If he hesitates to proceed , he is driven to the place of execution by some inferior officers of justice.
His neck is encompassed with a very wide cape of iron , which is fitted to his shoulders ; his legs are fettered with iron shackles, and from these, as well as from the cape, a few links extend to the bar, which is
about half a yard higher than his head. The links, sliding upon the bar, accommodate themselves to the motions of the prisoner ; the small piece of plank, that is attached to the shackles , serves him for a seat.
From the top of the bar, there depends a little board, upon which the name and crime of the malefactor are inscribed.
An iron chain, fastened by a padlock, is put round his neck, and, if he
refuses to proceed , inferior officers of justice compel him, after the
manner described .
He is preceded by a man, who strikes upon a gong, in order to draw
upon the offender the notice of the public. Two others walk after him ,
one of whom is employed in keeping up his face with a bundle of cleft
A little red banner is fastened on each side of the culprit, to
render him more conspicuous ; and his hands are tied behind his back .
It is the custom in China , for a Mandarin of justice to administer it
daily , morning and evening , in his own house, where he is attended by
his secretary, or clerk, and by inferior officers, some of them bearing
iron shackles, and others, pan-tsees . Upon his right hand stands the
Prosecutor, or Informer ; and before him is a table with a covering of
silk , and the implements of writing for the secretary to take down the
depositions and defence . These having been written in black ink, the
magistrate signs them with red, and seals them with the same colour.
On the table there are, also, a number of small sticks, tipped with red ;
these are kept in open cases , and are used in the following manner : if
a culprit is convicted of a petty offence, the magistrate causes him to be
immediately chastised, and released . The usual punishment, upon such
occasions, is the pan -tsee, or bastinade, and the number of blows to be
inflicted is signified by the magistrate's casting some of the above men
tioned small sticks upon the floor : each stick denotes five blows.
The culprit, who, during the examination , has awaited the decree upon
his hands and knees , is then seized by the attendants, and punished as
will be seen in a subsequent Plate . After the magistrate has thrown the
sticks, he talks of other affairs, drinks his tea , or smokes his tobacco .
It is only for trivial breaches of the Chinese Laws , such as drunken
ness, cheating, squabbling, boxing, pilfering, insolence or inattention
towards a superior, or the like, that any magistrate is empowered to
administer punishment in a summary manner. Whenever the crime is
of such a description as to call for severer notice, it is generally exa
mined into by five or six tribunals, who not only require very particular
information concerning the charge, but scrutinize with minute exactness,
into the characters and manners of the accusers .
Their proceedings in capital accusations are thus protracted in China ,
lest any man should be unjustly deprived of the inestimable benefits of
honour or life : and no criminal can be executed , until his trial has been
sent to court, and his sentence has been confirmed by the Emperor.
A smaller instrument of the same kind is also used in religious ceremonies, the 'the king,' made of one large block of 'yu,' suspended from an upright. It is played like the real 'king,' by being struck with a special stick or plectrum, and the tone, though less varied than that of the larger instrument, is equally deep and full.
Another curious Chinese instrument is the 'ou,' which is made of wood, and fashioned like a crouching tiger. It is hollow, and along its back run metal teeth, which are played with a small stick or brush. The 'ou' stands on a hollow pedestal, also of wood, which serves as a sounding board and increases the tone.
See also 590 visits