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ANCIENT FORMS OF EXECUTION.

DROWNING AS A DEATH PENALTY.. The revival In France of the guillotine as a method of dispatching criminals convicted of capital offences recalls the fact that execution by drowning was abolished by Henri -Quatre, only to Jie revived 'by one of his successors. It was finally abolished as a statutory method of execution by tha earliest decrees of the great revolutionaries. As late as the eighteenth century, death by drowning was decreed to a felon in Edinburgh, and In the middle ages It was a common enough mode of doing a convicted criminal to death. That execution, of this nature was considered as humane as any other, so far as the victim was concerned, is shown by the fact Übat It was not unknown among the early Jews, who varied: the punishment of stoning adultresses by drowning them. Among the Egyptians It was common. The 'Roman Lex Cornelia sanctioned the method 'by placing It on tho statute records. Tacitus tells as that the Germans copied the practice from tha Romans. The Teuton termed it the "last baptism," and he did not allow his powers of imagination to sleep when he set about devising additional varieties which should add to the excitemeut attending upon tho doomed person's departure from life. The convict was sewn up, Monte Cristo fashion, In a bag, and with him were enclosed a vlelons dog, a hungry cat, a violent rooster, a venomous Viper, all very much aliye and, presumably, kicking.

For what reason It is hard to see, but death by drowning was by many peoples considered preferable for criminal women. In the case of very debased or very mean 'jffenders the Roman had a more or less pleasant fashion of drowning tho doomed ones in marshe3,' first encasing them in elaberate orates.

Per refined cruelty in billing off their female criminals, the earlier Albanians were certainly the.mos'r. inventive In the matter af ingenuity, It is commonly known, o£ course, that even the modern. Albanian has less respect for womankind than any other known male in the human, catalogue, not even excluding the Chinese, The approved, method ef doing a criminal, or even a dis-? pleasing woman, 'to death prevalent among them up to rather less than a. century ago, was to chain her in a tank,, into which, the water-was allowed to flow gradually. As the w-ater reached her breast it allowed, to recede, sometimes back to her ankles, when the resiling of the tank began, anew. If the woman had children the torture was yaried by the drowning or mutilation, at them before her eyes. To yarions parts of! her body was attached such food as attracts) rats of which «. pumneiT would, be; let) loose, ' , _^

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ANCIENT FORMS OF EXECUTION. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 85, 10 April 1909

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