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Eating His Words.

{From the AVw York IVorld. .)

In Moscow city a goodly-sized book was published, which contained stinging sarcasms aimed at the venality of the officials, with many satirical and humorous allusions to bribe-taking and other iniquities. Even the Czar himself was handled without gloves, ins acts were fearlessly denounced, and a powerful argument was adduced in behalf of the rights of his subjects. The maladministration of the law was set forth in strong plain language. The book attracted general notice, 5 but this was bad for the author. ’Ho was arrested and thrown into prison:. After a short and smprnary trial his production was pronounced a libel, and he was condemned to “eat his own words” or suffer the punishment of the knout. This terrible instruriient of torture is in the shapes of a long whip or scourge, and is composed of many tough thongs of thick, hard skin plaited together, and interwoven with strands of stout wire. The criminal is stripped, and is firmly bound to two stakes, which are sufficiently far apart to allow of the free motion of the head. The blows are laid upon the bare back, every stroke cutting like a knife, and soon the victim of the scourge is a shapeless mass of blood and flesh. One hundred blows are equivalent to a death sentence. This was the alternative for the unhappy author. The day fixed for carrying the sentence of the Court into execution arrived. A platform was erected in one of the public squares of the city. Bound hand and foot, the victim of despotic power was seated in the' centre of the platform An immense! concourse of people had gathered to witness the strange spectacle. The Imperial Provost, the magistrate, the physician and the surgeon of the Czar were in attendance. The obnoxious book had been separated from the bindings, and as an act of grace the margin had been cut off. The leaves were then rolled up, not unlike cigar lighten!. And there was a basketful. Now the meal began. Amid roars of laughter from the ignorant and degraded populace, the Provost served the author leaf by leaf with his own production, putting the rolls of paper one by one into his mouth. He slowly chewed and swallowed one third of his book when the medical gentleman concluded he had received as much of the unnutricious material as was compatible with safety. He was then recondueted to his cell to digest his meal. The two following days the same scene was enacted, until every leaf was swallowed, and as a matter of fact he was compelled to literally eat his own fun.

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Eating His Words. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 42, 1 January 1880

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