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Decapitation   /dɪkˌæpɪtˈeɪʃən/   Listen
Decapitation

noun
1.
Execution by cutting off the victim's head.  Synonym: beheading.
2.
Killing by cutting off the head.  Synonym: beheading.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Decapitation" Quotes from Famous Books



... 1483-1485 Smothered his nephews in the Tower, He murdered them the Crown to gain; A heavy price for three years' reign. The Scutcheon's blotted terribly Of this King Richard number Three, For it seems his recreation Was ordering decapitation. 1485 On Bosworth Field when sorely pressed He made a bid th'uncommonest 'My kingdom for a horse' he cried; No offers coming, there ...
— A Humorous History of England • C. Harrison

... courage. On the 20th of August, 1191, five weeks after the surrender of St. Jean d'Acre, he found that Saladin was not fulfilling with sufficient promptitude the conditions of capitulation, and, to bring him up to time, he ordered the decapitation, before the walls of the place, of, according to some, twenty-five hundred, and, according to others, five thousand, Mussulman ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume II. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... sycophants to mislead the monarch, and all became his sycophants who received his favors. Coke is no exception to the rule. It is true enough that to him we are mainly indebted for the movement which, beginning on the 30th of January, 1621, ended that very day eight-and-twenty years with the decapitation of the king; but it is likewise undeniable that the nation's difficulties would have waited some time longer for solution had not the defender of the people's rights been inoculated with a love of liberty by the sudden application of the royal lancet, whose sharp ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850. • Various

... was for her little girl, Minnie. She had promised the head this year. Next Christmas they would buy a body for it. Molly Brandeis's quick sympathy went out to the little girl who was to lavish her mother-love on a doll's head for a whole year. She saw the head, in ghastly decapitation, staring stiffly out from the cushions of the chill and funereal parlor sofa, and the small Minnie peering in to feast her eyes upon its ...
— Fanny Herself • Edna Ferber

... by the scenes of the Greve. It was the theatre of the day. The gibbet and the wheel did their work almost periodically, and people looked on while poor wretches writhed in slow agony all day long. Sometimes the programme was varied by decapitation and even by the stake. Torture had its legends and its heroes—the everyday talk of the generation which, having begun by seeing Damiens torn by red-hot pincers, was to end by rending Foulon limb from limb." (Carne, Monarchie francaise au ...
— Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of 2) • John Morley

... the Robots ran into that next block—ran impervious to the many shots which now were fired at them. From what was described as slots in the sides of their iron bodies they drew swords—long, dark, burnished blades. They ran, and at each fallen human body they made a single stroke of decapitation, or, more generally, cut the ...
— Astounding Stories, April, 1931 • Various

... of us realise what a respecter of persons was French law under the ancien regime. Hard as seems the fate of this dashing young duke, we must remember what would have been his punishment, but for his titles of nobility. Death swift and sudden, in other words, by decapitation, was the choicest prerogative of the nobility; tortures before and after condemnation, breaking on the wheel, burning alive, and other hideous ends, being the lot of ...
— East of Paris - Sketches in the Gatinais, Bourbonnais, and Champagne • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... realisation of a higher figure. Sixteen years after this event the purchaser applied to me for a Stradivari scroll, that he might make his instrument complete. The mongrel Violin described above being in my possession, decapitation was duly performed, and the Stradivari received its head again. Here was a fortuitous course of circumstances! This exchange of heads took place without my being at all aware that the "Strad" scroll had returned to its original body; but on ...
— The Violin - Its Famous Makers and Their Imitators • George Hart

... thrilling every tender heart with horror, the sentence of hanging, first to be put into execution, and followed by decapitation. The horrible particularities were added—"of being hanged by the neck,—but not till you are dead—for you must be cut down alive;"—the rest of this sentence, since it has long ago been suffered ...
— Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745 - Volume III. • Mrs. Thomson

... Courage, my brave lads! give them no quarter unless they surrender; and struck a furious blow upward with his sabre, that would have divided the steward into moieties by subjecting him to the process of decapitation, but for the fortunate interference of the muzzle of the swivel. As it was, the gun was dismounted at the critical moment that Benjamin was applying his pipe to the priming, and in consequence some five or six dozen of rifle bullets ...
— The Pioneers • James Fenimore Cooper

... my dear," said Constance gravely,—"makes a futile attempt semi-weekly to beat his brains out with a club; and every successive failure encourages him to try again; the only effect being a temporary decapitation of his family; and I believe this is the night on which he periodically turns a frigid ...
— Queechy • Susan Warner

... poll, cephalon; costard (Contemptuous), noddle, pate. Associated Words: phrenology, phrenologist, craniology, craniologist, cephalology, sinciput, occiput, cephalism, behead, decapitate, decapitation, capitation, vertex, crown, skull, cranium, fontanel, trepan, coronal, microcephaly, craniometry, macrocephaly, ...
— Putnam's Word Book • Louis A. Flemming

... was Mikado he condemned to decapitation Jijiji Ri, a high officer of the Court. Soon after the hour appointed for performance of the rite what was his Majesty's surprise to see calmly approaching the throne the man who should have been at that time ten minutes dead! "Seventeen hundred impossible dragons!" shouted ...
— The Devil's Dictionary • Ambrose Bierce

... themselves with grape vines; by swallowing strips of under-clothing and buckles of suspenders; by forcing teams of horses to tear their heads off; by drowning themselves in vats of soft soap; by plunging into retorts of molten glass; by jumping into slaughter-house tanks of blood; by decapitation with ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908 • Various

... worse than amongst the Ashantis, and amongst the Ashantis worse than in the proper Fanti districts. It certainly reaches as far southwards as Old Calabar, where, upon the death of Ephraim, a well-known Caboceer, "some hundreds of men, women, and children were immolated to his manes,—decapitation, burning alive, and the administration of the poison-nut, being the methods resorted to for terminating their existence. When King Eyeo, father of the present Chief of Creek Town, died, an eye-witness, who had only arrived just after the completion of the funeral rites, informed me that a large ...
— The Ethnology of the British Colonies and Dependencies • Robert Gordon Latham

... time. Among the lower and smaller basso-relievos upon these porches, is the subject of the daughter of Herodias dancing before Herod. She is manoeuvering on her hands, her feet being upwards. To the right, the decapitation of St. John is ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume One • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... in finding him guilty of the acts recorded in their narrative, but three of them had held out for some time in favour of a sentence of perpetual imprisonment rather than decapitation. ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... fathers, was beheaded at Constantinople. The Christian powers of Europe immediately remonstrated, and it was hoped that the law against apostates from Mohammedanism would be permitted to become a dead letter. In a few months, however, a firman issued from the government ordering the decapitation of a young man near Brooza, who was put to death for having promised in a passion, but had afterwards refused, to become a Mohammedan. Lord Aberdeen, the British Secretary of Foreign Affairs, then demanded of the Turkish Sultan that the Porte ...
— A Brief Commentary on the Apocalypse • Sylvester Bliss

... attendants, dressed in bark, and decked with garlands of flowers; at the conclusion of the ceremonies the King is allowed a short start, and is then pursued by the armed attendants. If he is not overtaken he holds office for a year, but if overtaken, he suffers a mock decapitation, head-dress, or crown, being struck off, and the pretended corpse is then borne on a ...
— From Ritual to Romance • Jessie L. Weston

... fail us to tell how eager spirits not only groped after God, but sought the living Christ—though often this meant to them imprisonment, suicide enforced by the law, or decapitation. Yet over all Japan, long before the broad pennant of Perry was mirrored on the waters of Yedo Bay, there were here and there masses of leavened opinion, spots of kindled light, and fields upon which the tender green sprouts of new ideas could be detected. To-day, as inquiry among ...
— The Religions of Japan - From the Dawn of History to the Era of Meiji • William Elliot Griffis

... that, under advantageous circumstances, would enable him to spring again to his former height of power and riches. But he struck me as happy, although some of his social customs recalled the feudal age, and he lived under the always-present contingency of decapitation. May it be long before speculation rears the horrid front of a joint-stock hotel in Tangier, or the prospectors go divining for copper, coal, iron, silver and gold. I could wish the Moorish women, however, would ...
— Romantic Spain - A Record of Personal Experiences (Vol. II) • John Augustus O'Shea

... own language, 'on the last day of June, when the people were celebrating in Rome the festivity of the most happy decapitation of Saint Paul the Apostle, whose head was cut off by the most cruel Nero—on that very day, about an hour and a half after sunrise, the aforesaid Holiness of our Sovereign Lord caused the Protonotary Colonna to be beheaded in the Castle; and there were present the Senator and the ...
— Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 2 - Studies from the Chronicles of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... nobleman like the Duke of Norfolk, he is as prompt to speak as of the harp itself: "He was one of those politicians who are never contented; who plot and counterplot incessantly; who are always running their heads fearlessly, to be sure, but indiscreetly, into danger of decapitation." This fine analytic power appears throughout the book. Describing the enthusiasm of the Londoners for Henry of Bolingbroke, and their coldness towards the captive King Richard, the historian acutely observes: "Ever thus, from the beginning of the world, have those been insulted ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 103, May, 1866 • Various

... [156:3] but all the early documentary evidence we possess is quite opposed to such a representation. If Peter really finished his career in the Western metropolis, it would seem that he did not arrive there until very shortly before the decapitation of the Apostle of the Gentiles; for Paul makes no reference, in any of his writings, to the presence of such a fellow-labourer in the capital of the Empire. In the Epistle to the Romans, containing so many salutations to the brethren ...
— The Ancient Church - Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution • W.D. [William Dool] Killen

... second altar, garnished - as Mr. Verdant Green soon perceived, to his horror and amazement - with a human head (or the representation of one) projecting from a black cloth that concealed the neck, and, doubtless, the marks of decapitation. Its ghastly features were clearly displayed by the aid of a wax light placed in a tall ...
— The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green • Cuthbert Bede

... all taken place so quickly that Jack had barely jerked his Mauser pistol from his holster when all was ready for the decapitation of their guide. But as the gleaming blade flashed above the head of the little man in blue, Jack laid the muzzle true for his ribs and pulled the trigger. The heavy bullet tore its way through the headsman's body, and with a wild cry he pitched forward ...
— Jack Haydon's Quest • John Finnemore

... in the plate), the author remarks that it is "celebrated for the leap of Sappho, and the death of Artemisia." From this variety in the expression, a reader would hardly conceive that both the ladies perished in the same manner; in fact, the sentence is as proper as it would be to talk of the decapitation of Russell, and the death of Sidney. The view from this promontory includes the island of Corfu; and the name suggests to Mr. Gell the following note, which, though rather irrelevant, is of ...
— The Works Of Lord Byron, Letters and Journals, Vol. 1 • Lord Byron, Edited by Rowland E. Prothero

... but in the way of philosophical inquiry and examination. To prevent her falling a victim to so laudable an exercise of her talents, I interposed in a moment with the hoe, and performed an act of decapitation, which though not immediately mortal proved so in the end. Had he slid into the passages, where it is dark, or had he, when in the yard, met with no interruption from the cat, and secreted himself in any of the outhouses, ...
— Cowper • Goldwin Smith

... Isabel, richly gilded in the exquisite temple forming the high altar; or than the St. James on horseback, with his horse's hoof planted on the throat of a Moor; or than the Blessed Virgins in jeweled crowns and stomachers and brocaded skirts; or than that unsparing decapitation of John the Baptist bloodily falling forward with his severed gullet thrusting at the spectator. Nothing has ever been too terrible in life for Spanish art to represent; it is as ruthlessly veracious ...
— Familiar Spanish Travels • W. D. Howells

... poet, has produced a wonderful piece of literature in his treatment of {497} the brutal facts connected with Salome's dance and Jokanaan's decapitation. ...
— The Standard Operaglass - Detailed Plots of One Hundred and Fifty-one Celebrated Operas • Charles Annesley

... stake waits at the gate of the seraglio to compel thee," thundered the Hakim Bashi; "thou shalt die with tortures. The mercy of decapitation shall be denied thee, for thou knowest well Mohammedans will not pollute their swords with the blood of a Jew. Be advised by me, Sabbatai," he continued, lowering his tone. "Become one of us. After all, the Moslem are but the posterity of Hagar. Mohammed is but ...
— Dreamers of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... Giovedi Grasso, the last Thursday before Lent, when the Piazzetta became the scene of ceremonies in which the Doge himself took part. These opened with the decapitation of three bulls: a rite said to commemorate some long-forgotten dispute between the inveterate enemies, Venice and Aquileia. The bulls, preceded by halberdiers and trumpeters, and surrounded by armed attendants, were led in state before the ducal palace, and the executioner, practised ...
— The Valley of Decision • Edith Wharton

... knife into the defenceless young throat, he nevertheless controlled his sentiments and looked up for instructions. Since the splendid decapitation which Coronado had performed, Texas respected him as he had never heretofore hoped to ...
— Overland • John William De Forest

... repeatedly heard from them before at about the same hour. It was a most evident attempt to establish an alibi; it was as much as to say, "If you miss any wheat, we didn't take it; we are honest birds, and stay at home o'nights, Dr. Percival." The next morning, however, a general decapitation overtook the flock of feathered hypocrites. "It was a curious instance of the domestic goose reverting to its wild habit of nocturnal feeding," remarked my narrator, dwelling characteristically upon the natural-history aspect of ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 21, July, 1859 • Various

... despotism and designed to oppress the colonies for the benefit of England; whereas they originated with the Commonwealth, and were designed to benefit the colonies as well as the mother country. "After the decapitation of Charles I.," says Minot, "the confused situation of England prevented any particular attention to the colony until Cromwell's Government. The very qualities which existed in the character of the ...
— The Loyalists of America and Their Times, Vol. 1 of 2 - From 1620-1816 • Egerton Ryerson

... Gallienus. The legends recount some ridiculous miracles wrought in favour of this saint, both before and after his death. Charles V. emperor of Germany and king of Spain, caused this monastery to be built on the spot where Pontius suffered decapitation. But to return to the inscription: ...
— Travels Through France and Italy • Tobias Smollett

... formidable; he could rise and slay and eat, vampire-like, as in the tale of Asmund and Aswit. He must in such case be mastered and prevented doing further harm by decapitation and thigh-forking, or by staking and burning. So criminals' bodies were often burnt to ...
— The Danish History, Books I-IX • Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")

... claws, however, sheathed, and not in anger, but in the way of philosophic inquiry and examination. To prevent her falling a victim to so laudable an exercise of her talents, I interposed in a moment with the hoe, and performed on him an act of decapitation which, though not immediately mortal, proved so in ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... about Alabama Ranch who seems undisturbed by Peter's departure is Whinstane Sandy. He reminds me of a decrepit but robustious old rooster repossessing himself of a chicken-run after the decapitation of an arrogant and envied rival. He has with a dour sort of blitheness connected up the windmill pump, in his spare time, and run a pipe in through the kitchen wall and rigged up a sink, out of ...
— The Prairie Mother • Arthur Stringer

... was reopened. D'Ormesson, a man of excellent family and social position, who had favored the accused throughout the trial, delivered his opinion at length. He concluded for banishment. The next judge voted for decapitation, but with a recommendation to mercy. Next, one Pussort, a malignant tool of the Chancellor, inveighed against Fouquet for four hours, so violently that he injured his case. His voice was for the gallows,—but, in consideration of the criminal's rank, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 78, April, 1864 • Various

... one might well do on such sudden pain and provocation, drew out his sword and ran him through the body, so that he died a couple of days afterwards. That, sir, is your assassination without cause! Then the Sovereign Court of course was obliged to order his decapitation in effigy—not his hanging, as you say; and such is the measure of truth in the information which is given you by that young man on the occurrences of ...
— The False Chevalier - or, The Lifeguard of Marie Antoinette • William Douw Lighthall

... the First, by Sir H. Halford, Bart., 1813, pp. 6, 7. Cornelia Knight, in her Autobiography (1861, i. 227), notes that the frolic prince, the "Adonis of fifty," who was in a good humour, and "had given to Princess Charlotte the centre sapphire of Charles's crown," acted "the manner of decapitation on my shoulders." He had "forgotten" Cromwell, who, as Lord Auchinleck reminded Dr. Johnson, had "gart kings ken that they had a lith in ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Vol. 7. - Poetry • George Gordon Byron

... begins with the death of our hero. The manner of it was decapitation, the instrument a mowing machine. A young son of the deceased, dumb with horror, seized the paternal head and ran ...
— The Fiend's Delight • Dod Grile

... denoted, in this case, a frantic battering of drums, big and little; a squeaking of scrannel pipes; a feminine 'break-down' of the most effrenee description, and a general libation to the Bacchus of Blackland. A debauched and drunken Ashanti, who executed for our benefit a decapitation-dance, evidently wishing that we had been its objects, thanked us ironically for a sixpence. We met some difficulty in seeing the swords, which were not to be sold. They were the usual rusty and decayed fish-slicers; Cameron, however, was kind enough to sketch them for me, and they will ...
— To The Gold Coast for Gold, Vol. II - A Personal Narrative • Richard Francis Burton and Verney Lovett Cameron

... themselves with a long, sharp knife. Across the abdomen—so!—and up into the heart—so! It was considered very bad form to faint or die before the job was done. Nearby, a relative or a close friend stood with a sharp sword, to administer the coup de grace by decapitation. It was all very sad and very honorable. Their loved ones bore the ...
— Anything You Can Do ... • Gordon Randall Garrett

... family names beginning with Gill-, may be from Gillian (see p. 46), or from Fr. Guillaume. A famous member of the latter family was Guillotin, the humanitarian doctor who urged the abolition of clumsy methods of decapitation. His name is a double diminutive, like Fr. diablotin, goblin. Leggatt is a variant of Lidgate, swing gate, and of Legate. Lovell is an affectionate diminutive or is for Old Fr. louvel, little wolf. It was also in Mid. English a dog's name, ...
— The Romance of Words (4th ed.) • Ernest Weekley

... Prescott marriage." And of course, the frivolous Jaffery, now that one really wants him, is sitting astride of a cannon, and smoking a pipe and, notebook and pencil in hand, is writing a picturesque description of the bungling decapitation by shrapnel of the general who has just been unfolding to him the whole plan of the campaign, and consequently is provokingly un-getatable by ...
— Jaffery • William J. Locke

... every person's interest, however wealthy, to exhibit an appearance of abject poverty; as the suspicion of wealth instantly produces from the Sultan or Pasha a demand for some large sum, which must be forthwith paid or decapitation or torture are the severe alternatives. Here justice is indeed an empty name, the most atrocious criminals escaping unpunished if able to offer a bribe sufficient to tempt the cupidity of those whose duty it ...
— Letters of George Borrow - to the British and Foreign Bible Society • George Borrow

... decapitated and nailed to wooden crosses, while across their corpses were slashed a cross in derision of the religion of his foes. The bodies were then cast into the harbour, and were washed up at the foot of Il Borgo. Instantly the Grand Master ordered the decapitation of all the Turkish prisoners, and their heads were fired from cannon into ...
— Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean • E. Hamilton Currey

... Presidency. When he entered the Elysee, the executive authority went out of it. The Third French Republic, such as it now exists, was constituted on that day—the anniversary, by the way, oddly enough, of the decapitation of Charles ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... of a, calling the Devil from a Vessel of Blood Jewish Ceremony before the Ark " Conspiracy in France " Procession Jews taking the Blood from Christian Children " of Cologne burnt alive, The " Expulsion of the, in the Reign of the Emperor Hadrian " Secret Meeting of the John the Baptist, Decapitation of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, Assassination of Judge, Fifteenth Century Judicial Duel, The Jugglers exhibiting Monkeys and Bears, Thirteenth Century " performing ...
— Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period • Paul Lacroix

... fine weather there was by no means to be wasted, being of rare occurrence and liable at the shortest notice to be succeeded by a howling gale. Our latest acquisition, however, was of such gigantic proportions that the decapitation alone bade fair to take us all night. A nasty cross swell began to get up, too—a combination of north-westerly and south-westerly which, meeting at an angle where the Straits began, raised a curious "jobble," making the vessel behave in a drunken, uncertain manner. Sailors do ...
— The Cruise of the Cachalot - Round the World After Sperm Whales • Frank T. Bullen

... however, frankly confess that my choice has been partly determined by other considerations. I offer here those parts of my narrative which I conceive to be the least credible—those which deal with the most monstrous and astounding follies of a strange people. Their ceremony of marriage by decapitation; their custom of facing to the rear when riding on horseback; their practice of walking on their hands in all ceremonial processions; their selection of the blind for military command; their pig-worship—these and many other comparatively ...
— The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce • Ambrose Bierce

... the heart. This is because of its resistance to any arrest of the circulation and also because its survival is easily shown by its contractility. In man the heart has been seen to beat spontaneously and completely 25 minutes after a legal decapitation (Renard and Loye, 1887), and by massage of the organ its beating may be restored after it has been arrested for 40 minutes (Rehn, 1909). By irrigation of the heart and especially of its coronary vessels the period of ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 21 - The Recent Days (1910-1914) • Charles F. Horne, Editor

... content with slaying his enemy, cuts off the right thumb of the corpse, so that the departed soul may be incapacitated from throwing a spear. Even the half-civilized Chinese prefer crucifixion to decapitation, that their souls may not wander headless about the spirit-world. [171] Thus we see how far removed from the Christian doctrine of souls is the primeval theory of the soul or other self that figures in dreamland. So grossly materialistic is the primitive conception that the savage ...
— Myths and Myth-Makers - Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by Comparative Mythology • John Fiske

... State of New York of a statute requiring the death penalty to be inflicted by means of electricity. The object was to deter evildoers by surrounding the penalty with scientific horror, [Footnote: Hence also the new lingual atrocity, the word "electrocute," derived from "execute" by decapitation and the addition of "electro"] and the idea had its origin in the accidents which formerly occurred much more frequently than now. The "death current" is now almost everywhere, though the care of the men who continually work about "live" wires has grown to be much like that of men who ...
— Steam Steel and Electricity • James W. Steele

... Thursday" sixty-two large loaves, twelve fat pigs, and a bull, to the Doge; the bull being understood to represent the patriarch, and the twelve pigs his clergy: and the ceremonies of the day consisting in the decapitation of these representatives, and a distribution of their joints among the senators; together with a symbolic record of the attack upon Aquileia, by the erection of a wooden castle in the rooms of the Ducal Palace, which the Doge ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume III (of 3) • John Ruskin

... crime in Canton, one would look in vain for justice, but there is plenty of cruelty. We visited the execution yard, a circumscribed space in the very heart of the city. Here, our guide told us, twenty condemned prisoners were executed weekly, by decapitation, each Friday being devoted to clearing the docket. The executioner takes off a head with one stroke of the sword, and the guide said he had witnessed the decapitation of eleven heads in seven minutes. Through a grating in the wall of the yard, an open area was seen where a crowd ...
— Due West - or Round the World in Ten Months • Maturin Murray Ballou

... rapidly if neglected. The mortgage is considered one-third of what the property was valued at seven years ago; but we have all shrunk a trifle since that," with a shrug, and a curious little bend of the head, as if the decapitation was not altogether a pleasant process. "This is the 4th of August, and on the 19th it is advertised for sale. There may be one chance in a thousand of a better purchaser; though Mr. Hildreth thinks no one but a lunatic, or a woman, would put money in ...
— Hope Mills - or Between Friend and Sweetheart • Amanda M. Douglas

... the Supreme Gobbler left him, and thenceforward the Pious Person dreamed of himself as white meat and dark until rudely awakened by decapitation. ...
— Fantastic Fables • Ambrose Bierce

... Will (at this point, the audience burst into a roar of laughter). Besides, he liked our family, we suited him in every respect; and especially because we so much reminded him of John the Baptist (we inwardly hoped that the resemblance would not extend to decapitation). If Miss Greeley would not marry him, he kindly added, he would take her cousin Marguerite instead, but he must positively marry one of the family. He was now perfectly wild, and when he remarked, with a reproachful glance at Ida, that he disliked ko-kwettes, ...
— The Story of a Summer - Or, Journal Leaves from Chappaqua • Cecilia Cleveland

... arraignment charged him with high treason, in respect that he had stormed and taken towns and castles, and shed much blood. "Traitor," said Wallace, "was I never." The rest of the charges he confessed and proceeded to justify them. He was condemned, and executed by decapitation, 1305. His head was placed on a pinnacle on London bridge, and his quarters ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume VI. • Various

... Though I was delighted to re-encounter my old friend Du Chaylu. Old Murat is perhaps your high water mark; 'tis excellently human, cheerful and real. Do it again. Madame de Maintenon struck me as quite good. Have you any document for the decapitation? It sounds steepish. The devil of all that first part is that you see old Dumas; yet your Louis XIV. is DISTINCTLY GOOD. I am much interested with this book, which fulfils a good deal, and promises more. Question: How far a Historical Novel should be wholly episodic? ...
— Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 2 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... young gentleman approached me with a letter: I received him with a strange nervousness; was there any crime in my record, I asked fitfully, for which I had been traced to this obscure suburb for condign arrest and decapitation? Ha! ha! it was my heart, not my lips, that laughed. I could have cried out like Enoch Arden in ...
— Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, - and His Romaunt Abroad During the War • George Alfred Townsend

... Killane, had surrendered in despair, while Messrs. Grogan and Colclough, who had secreted themselves in a cave in the great Saltee Island, were discovered, and conducted to the same prison. Notwithstanding the capitulation agreed to by Lord Kingsborough, the execution and decapitation of all these gentlemen speedily followed, and their ghastly faces looked down for many a day from the iron spikes above the entrance of Wexford Court House. Mr. Esmond Kyan, the popular hero of the district, as merciful as brave, was discovered some time ...
— A Popular History of Ireland - From the earliest period to the emancipation of the Catholics • Thomas D'Arcy McGee

... country that "in some places all powers both executive and judicial were delegated for a fixed period to natives by the sovereign. This institution was styled Thalavettiparothiam or authority obtained by decapitation. . . . It was an office tenable for five years during which its bearer was invested with supreme despotic powers within his jurisdiction. On the expiry of the five years the man's head was cut off and thrown up in the air amongst a large concourse of villagers, each of whom vied with the other ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... in a very pleasant country palace, situated on the banks of a river. In one of the rooms, there was a painting of Ogurlu- Mohammed, the kings eldest son, leading the sultan Busech, or Abu Said, tied with a rope; and in another picture the decapitation of Busech was represented. We were again invited to an entertainment, at which many different kinds of confections were served up. We remained at Ispahan till the 25th of November, during which period we were frequently invited to court. The city of Ispahan, like the rest of the Persian cities, ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. II • Robert Kerr

... ill-fed and in rags. There is, however, a limit beyond which a government calling itself civilized may not go, and as the public opinion of the world, crystallized into what we call international law, will not permit the wholesale decapitation of prisoners, as might be done by a king of Ashantee or Dahomey, so it forbids the herding of captive men in a mere corral, leaving them utterly without shelter of any sort through the sleet and rain of winter, near the North Carolina mountains. It forbids starving them ...
— Military Reminiscences of the Civil War V2 • Jacob Dolson Cox

... They now endeavored to obtain a minor grace. They represented that in the Netherlands, and in Germany, there was an important difference in the public mind as to the mode of inflicting the punishment of death upon persons of quality. That decapitation had no influence on the fortunes of the family of the executed, but that the punishment of the wheel was such an infamy, that the uncles, aunts, brothers, and sisters of the criminal, and his whole family, for three succeeding generations, were excluded from all noble chapters, ...
— Wolfert's Roost and Miscellanies • Washington Irving

... traitor Selim by the order of our glorious sultan; here is his imperial command." At these words, and the sight of the fatal diploma, all prostrated themselves terror-stricken. Ali, after ordering the decapitation of Selim, whose head he seized as a trophy, ordered the cadi, the beys, and the Greek archons to meet at the palace to prepare the official account of the execution of the sentence. They assembled, trembling; the sacred hymn of the Fatahat was sung, and the murder declared legal, in the name ...
— CELEBRATED CRIMES, COMPLETE - ALI PACHA • ALEXANDRE DUMAS, PERE

... bade me show him that I loved him by my obedience and my trust. He took me a long carriage journey, where to I know not, for we never spoke of that day again; I was led through a prison, into a closed court-yard, where, decently draped in the last robes of death, concealing the marks of decapitation, lay M. de la Tourelle, and two or three others, whom I ...
— Curious, if True - Strange Tales • Elizabeth Gaskell

... of it rises a pyramidal canopy of open stone-work; and upon the wide transom-stone over the door, is sculptured the genealogical tree of Christ, arising from the root of Jesse. The carving over the north entrance is yet more peculiar, and evidently far older. It represents the decapitation of the Baptist, with "Salome dancing in an attitude, which perchance was often assumed by the tombesteres of the elder day; affording, by her position, a graphical comment upon the Anglo-Saxon version ...
— Architectural Antiquities of Normandy • John Sell Cotman

... refused to acknowledge the authority of the court, and pleaded that he was a subject of France, honoured with a commission in the service of his most christian majesty. The identity of his person being proved, a rule was made for his execution; and on the eighth day of December he suffered decapitation, with the most perfect composure and serenity. Lord Lovat, now turned of four-score, was impeached by the commons, and tried in Westminster-hall before the lord high-steward. John Murray, secretary to the prince-pretender, and some of his own domestics, appearing against ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... always one or two beef cattle to kill. Sheep had also to be slaughtered, with the turkeys, geese and ducks, which had been getting ready for decapitation. After home wants were provided for, the rest were sent ...
— Life in Canada Fifty Years Ago • Canniff Haight

... to-night was, whether the decapitation of Charles the First were a justifiable act, and the debate was opened in the affirmative by a young man with a singularly sunny face and a voice of music. His statement was clear and calm. Though nothing could be more uncompromising than his opinions, it seemed that nothing could ...
— Endymion • Benjamin Disraeli

... to make him loosen his coils!" cried Tom, as he fired again, and such was the killing power of the electric bullets that the snake, though an immense one, and one that short of decapitation could have received many injuries without losing power, seemed to ...
— Tom Swift in the Land of Wonders - or, The Underground Search for the Idol of Gold • Victor Appleton

... the H. V. Alaeddin promises, "if I fail to find and fetch the Princess, I will myself cut off my head and cast it before the throne." Hindus are adepts in suicide and this self- decapitation, which sounds absurd further West, is quite possible ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 3 • Richard F. Burton

... men didn't become too meddlesome, their presence wouldn't spoil the 'adventure.'... He assured me that the men were 'fine fellows,' the ladies the loveliest on earth, but the 'adventure' was one that might mean decapitation for me if I failed in the undertaking.... I told him that just suited me.... 'I expect to meet Colonel Z—— S—— von T—— at the track. If he takes a liking to you he'll invite you to Koenigergratzerstrasse for a quiet little talk,' Count ...
— Rescuing the Czar - Two authentic Diaries arranged and translated • James P. Smythe

... instance, however, the prisoner was prodigal of words. He did not seem to think that there was any danger of his being the medium of accomplishing his own decapitation. He did not hesitate like those who are afraid of misplacing a word of the romance they are substituting for the truth. Under other circumstances, this fact would have been a strong ...
— Monsieur Lecoq • Emile Gaboriau

... festival of the Decapitation of S. John the Baptist, the emperor attended service at the Studion in great state. Early in the morning the members of the senate assembled therefore at the monastery, while dignitaries of an inferior rank took their place outside the gate (Narli Kapou) in the city walls below the monastery, ...
— Byzantine Churches in Constantinople - Their History and Architecture • Alexander Van Millingen

... threatened to cut off when he met him. Magnanimously forgetting the purpose of the broken adventurer, Esquivel despatched a ship to bring him to Jamaica. We may be perfectly sure that Ojeda said nothing about the decapitation when the generous hearted Esquivel received him with open arms. Ojeda with Talavera and his comrades were sent back to Santo Domingo. There Talavera and the principal men of his crew were tried ...
— South American Fights and Fighters - And Other Tales of Adventure • Cyrus Townsend Brady

... skimming along the ground as a moor-hen scuppers across the water, the mechanics having assisted her initial progress by pushing the lower stays and then ducking under the planes, as she gathered way, and just missing decapitation. It's a way they have. She took a run for it, her engine humming like a top, and then rose, and gradually climbed the sky. Peter gazed at her wistfully. "And he promised to take me up some day," ...
— Leaves from a Field Note-Book • J. H. Morgan

... clearly a limitation of the law of revenge. These laws of Ieyasu also describe the old methods of punishing criminals, and then add: "Criminals are to be punished by branding, or beating, or tying up, and, in capital cases, by spearing or decapitation; but the old punishments of tearing to pieces and boiling to death are not to be used." Torture was finally legally abolished in Japan ...
— Evolution Of The Japanese, Social And Psychic • Sidney L. Gulick

... such a horrible law into execution as was devised to meet the requirements of the case. First an arm was chopped off, then the other; the two legs in the same way. Two slits were made transversely on the breast, and the heart was torn out; decapitation finished the proceedings. Now, a slight gash only is made across each collar-bone, and three gashes across the breast in the shape of the character meaning one thousand, and indicative of the number of strokes the criminal ought properly to have received. Decapitation then follows without ...
— Chinese Sketches • Herbert A. Giles

... hundred and fifty years, these have been—beating with the light bamboo, beating with the heavy bamboo, transportation for a certain period, banishment to a certain distance, and death, the last being subdivided into strangling and decapitation, according to ...
— The Civilization Of China • Herbert A. Giles

... face with Aten (i.e., the solar disk), the eyes with Hathor, and the deceased exclaims triumphantly, "There is no member of my body which is not the member of a god." Chapter XLIII. A spell to prevent the decapitation of the deceased, who assumes in it the character of Osiris the Lord of Eternity. Chapter XLIV. An ancient and mighty spell, the recital of which prevented the deceased from dying a second time. Chapters XLV and XLVI preserved the mummy of the deceased from decay, and Chapter XLVII prevented the ...
— The Book of the Dead • E. A. Wallis Budge

... which was to give him immortality and omnipotence,—a gruff voice startled us with an oath, and an order to desist; and I well recollect looking back, for long after, with terror to the vision of an old and ill-tempered farmer, armed with a bill-hook, and vowing our decapitation; nor did I subsequently remember without triumph the eloquence whereby alone, in my firm belief, my brother and myself had been ...
— The Life of John Sterling • Thomas Carlyle

... stands, is held the fruit and vegetable market, and a finer one or more plentifully supplied I never beheld. This Place is interesting to the historian as being the spot where Counts Egmont and Hoorn suffered decapitation in the reign of Philip II of Spain, by order of the Duke of Alva, who witnessed the execution from a window of one of the houses. The conduct of these noblemen at the place of execution was so dignified that even the ferocious duke could not avoid wiping his eyes, hardened as his heart was by ...
— After Waterloo: Reminiscences of European Travel 1815-1819 • Major W. E Frye

... hill. Where it stopped the spring burst forth; and the head being picked up was placed on Miss Winifrede's body again. It became fixed, and she lived for many years afterwards, a little red mark round her white throat being the only token of her decapitation! So ...
— Little Folks - A Magazine for the Young (Date of issue unknown) • Various

... black slaves did the Sultana Valida issue her commands; and to the eldest she intrusted Solyman's signet-ring and the pass-key which Aischa had sent her. The slaves bowed three times to the empress mother—laid their hands on their heads to imply that they would deserve decapitation if they neglected the orders they had received—and then withdrew. There was something terribly sinister in their appearance, as they retired noiselessly but rapidly through the long, silent and darkened corridors of ...
— Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf • George W. M. Reynolds

... the verisimilitude of their actions, as if she had made them herself. His hippogriff returns, like a common horse, to the stable to which he has been accustomed. His enchanter, who is gifted with the power of surviving decapitation and pursuing the decapitator so long as a fated hair remains on his head, turns deadly pale in the face when it is scalped, and falls lifeless from his horse. His truth, indeed, is so genuine, and at the same time his style is ...
— Stories from the Italian Poets: With Lives of the Writers, Vol. 2 • Leigh Hunt

... knoweth how to bind on a head which hath been cut off; he knoweth how to make a lion follow him, as if led by a rope; and he knoweth the number of the stars of the house (constellation) of Thoth." The decapitation trick is thus no new thing, while the experiment performed with the lion, possibly a hypnotic feat, ...
— The Problems of Psychical Research - Experiments and Theories in the Realm of the Supernormal • Hereward Carrington

... China, however, the law may be brought into action for attempts against nature even with mutual consent; the penalty is one hundred strokes with the bamboo and a month's imprisonment; if there is violence, the penalty is decapitation; I am not able to say how far the law is a dead letter. According to Matignon, so far as homosexuality exists in China, it is carried on with much more decorum and restraint than it is in Europe, and he thinks it ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 2 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... The New York Post, September 3, the leading article remarks, after granting it is a rare script that cannot be improved by good editing, and after making allowance for the physical law of limitation by space: "Surgery, however, must not become decapitation or such a trimming of long ears and projecting toes as savage tribes practise. It seems very probable that by ruthless reshaping and hampering specifications in our magazines, stories and articles have been seriously affected." Further, "the passion for editorial ...
— O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1921 • Various

... obliges the saints and their three brethren to sacrifice to idols; in the third the angels save them from drowning; in the fourth they are condemned to be burnt alive, and sing psalms in the midst of the flames; in the fifth is the stoning; and lastly the decapitation. ...
— Fra Angelico • J. B. Supino

... Sutherland, has the doubtful honour of having condemned her to the stake. But fifty years later than this—1773—the Associated Presbytery passed a resolution deploring the fact that witchcraft was falling into disrepute. In Germany the last witch was executed in 1749, by decapitation. The last trial for witchcraft in Massachusetts was as late as 1793. These dates refer, of course, to legal proceedings. Examples of the existence of this belief are continually being recorded in newspapers, although they now only rank as solitary reminiscences of one of the most degrading ...
— Religion & Sex - Studies in the Pathology of Religious Development • Chapman Cohen

... heads and teachers of sects, as also those who conceal heretical meetings, or cause any other public scandal, shall be punished with the gallows, and their estates, where the law of the province permit it, confiscated; but if they abjure their errors, their punishment shall be commuted into decapitation with the sword, and their effects shall be preserved to their families." A cruel snare for parental affection! Less grievous heretics, it was further enacted, shall, if penitent, be pardoned; and if impenitent shall be compelled to leave the country, without, however, forfeiting ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... But at night, the Duke de Liancourt forced his way into the King's bed-chamber, and obliged him to hear a full and animated detail of the disasters of the day in Paris. He went to bed fearfully impressed. The decapitation of De Launay worked powerfully, through the night, on the whole Aristocratical party; insomuch, that in the morning, those of the greatest influence on the Count d'Artois, represented to him the absolute necessity, that the King ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... inflict condign punishment? In savage states, whenever anything untoward happens to the king or chief, it is the business of the witch-finder to disclose the wrong-doer; and sooner or later, you may be sure, "somebody gets whopped for it." Whopping in Dahomey means wholesale decapitation. ...
— Post-Prandial Philosophy • Grant Allen

... growth had exerted its power eccentrically with the poorhouse poet. His legs and neck were elongated out of all proportion to the rest of his body. His small, pale face was raised unnaturally high in the air, as if he had suffered decapitation and his head had been posted as an assurance that offended law had been avenged. Unconscious of his own peculiarities, the persistent rhymer went about pleased with himself and all the world. Now he was particularly happy, for he considered ...
— Little Tora, The Swedish Schoolmistress and Other Stories • Mrs. Woods Baker



Words linked to "Decapitation" :   death penalty, putting to death, kill, execution, capital punishment, killing, executing



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