Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/295

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275
LESSER PUNISHMENTS

ducked three times into the muddy water, to cool "their choler and heat."

"Down in the deep the stool descends,
 But here at first we miss our ends;
 She mounts again and rages more
 Than ever vixen did before. …
 If so, my friends, pray let her take,
 A second turn into the lake. …
 No brawling wives, no furious wenches,
 No fire so hot, but water quenches."

Added to these were the pillory, the branks or scold's bridle, the drunkard's cloak, the pruning knife for the excision of a culprit's ears, scissors for slitting his nostrils, thumbscrews and other extreme penalties. Every village had its whipping-post, for men and women were alike whipped at the "cart's tail" all over the country. Taken from prison, they were tied to the back of a cart, which was driven slowly through the streets, followed by a noisy crowd, while the miserable culprit was whipped till the skin was broken. And this was but i6o years ago.

Notwithstanding all these most degrading punishments, pauperism continued to grow apace. It was not due to want of employment: there was work for all in the Georgian days.